Financing For Indigenous People, Land Reforms And Protection Of Forests And Other Natural Ecosystems
By Anandi Sharan
16 June, 2016
One does not have to read Marx to understand how debt-based money in the form of credit to corporations, - chosen by banks on the basis of their ability to make profit, - leads to an accumulation of money in the hands of those few who create the money and are given the credit.
Profiteering, in short, capitalism, is incompatible with ecology. Instead of giving a person the wherewithal to work and think and acquire skills, knowledge and culture to understand ecology, - how sun, water, air and living things are harnessed in the life-cycle of a natural eco-system, families are trapped in exploitative relations with each other and ecology.
Their political representatives and economic bosses oppress and kill each other and us and destroy nature in order to turn natural wealth into gold, paper money, electronic money, and so on, all so that they can head off to the unsustainable city life. This has led to climate change and the collapse of western civilization.
Because of the exploitation of humans for profit by western civilisation India’s population has increased 40% since 1990. India was turned into a reserve army of labour.
Though some fund increase has flown to the growing population in rural areas, on the whole the capitalist system has given credits to corporations in this period since the 1990s but has left 95% of workers underpaid and under the taxable income and professional tax limit, and deprived of land, housing and a dignified and modern life.
Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe people who make up around 30% of the population, and the majority of people in backward castes are suffering tremendously. India needs 12 million new jobs a year but is suffering from jobless profit-only growth, and even profits apparently have stagnated due to scams.
Whereas the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) now has a financing mechanism in the form of the Green Climate Fund, the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) is still woefully underfunded.
The Green Climate Fund is certainly not great. Like all global funds run by the industrialised countries it wants to act as a bank and give loans. But it does at least give grants and developing countries should insist only to request grants.
Biodiversity work, including protecting forests and natural eco-systems and the Green India Mission for example, to the extent we are looking for USD funds and not INR,can squeeze itself into the straightjacket of climate change mitigation and adaptation by calling itself a cross-cutting climate change mitigation issue. The Green Climate Fund asks specifically for grant applicants to list the biological diversity conservation benefits and the natural eco-system support benefits of the work.
In India we are not very dependent on foreign funds. The foreign funds availableunder the UNFCCC and CBD treaties mainly act as ideological and technical drivers for political direction and finance around10% of any work. The balance is mostly funded under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in India guarantees all rural workers the right to work, currently interpreted as meaning 100 days a year.
Gram Sabhas can make any kind of plan they want, and get the funds from the Rural Development Ministry and the technical support of the line ministries, including forests. The Green India Mission is designed to cater for this employment right.
Sadly the educated castes in India do not care to take up such work in rural areas, preferring to go where they get the recognition of the global economy. One may say that the criminal killing of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe people in India would be less if educated people of upper castes took up the opportunities in rural areas along with their brethren from SC ST families, instead of pursuing the dead-end of city life. Not only the political system, but our entire education and culture is ill-suited to ecological reality.
Despite this major handicap from the Brahminical culture of Hindus, secular India under the constitution takes climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation relatively seriously, because otherwise we cannot live with rising temperatures. On the other hand the industrialised countries are moving in the totally opposite direction.
India needs 2 trillion USD in grants to support local communities to trigger 1 million positive ecological tipping points in their forests and natural eco-systems.
In fact the workers in industrialised countries are themselves also in need of reform so that they too can get their hands on agricultural and forest land to work on; otherwise they will continue with their standard of living fascism in unsustainable urban economies, sucking up natural resources at that voracious rate they are accustomed and to which they make all other living things subservient to.
But they don’t realize it. The downright counterproductive, obstructivist and genocidal approach of industrialised countries of often driven by political parties and their supporters calling themselves socialist. Their selfish and counter-productive approach to climate change mitigation and conservation of biological diversityis in evidence in their approach to financing under the CBD.
The developed countries are intentionally killing people in developing countries by way of temperature rise caused by their intentional use of polluting materials and processes and their financing mechanism perpetuates their lifestyle and greed.
To examine what they do one may first examine what they are supposed to do under the treaty.
The objectives of this Convention, “to be pursued in accordance with its relevant provisions, are the conservation of biological diversity, thesustainableuseofitscomponents andthefairandequitablesharing of the benefits arising out of the utilizationof genetic resources, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies, taking into account all rights over those resources and to technologies, and by appropriate funding.”
So appropriate funding is mentioned as an objective. Secondly article 3. Says that the principle is that “States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.” Under Article 8 countries are supposed to “cooperate in providing financial and other support for in-situ and ex-situ conservation particularly to developing countries.“
Under Article 11 we are supposed to “as far as possible and as appropriate, adopt economically and socially sound measures that act as incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of components of biological diversity”.
Under Article 14 (d) Governments are supposed to “in the case of imminent or grave danger or damage,originating under its jurisdiction or control, to biological diversity within the area under jurisdiction of other States or in areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, notify immediately the potentially affected States of such danger or damage, as well as initiate action to prevent or minimize such danger or damage.”
Considering climate change causes biodiversity loss, the mandates listed above are clearly being breached; industrialised countries listed under Annex 2 of the UNFCCC should be taken to court at India’s National Green Tribunal.
In India the purpose of the National Green Tribunal is the guaranteed right to ecology and environment as part of right to life.
Considering at least 300 million Indian suffered massive loss of life and health due to temperature rise this year, it is clear that developed countries are liable for trillions in damages already, before we have even got to the critique of the woefully inadequate financing mechanism of the CBD.
Indeed judging by the hopelessly inadequate and ideologically absurd financing mechanism of the CBD that is the laughable Global Environment Facility, we are much more likely to get our trillions USD from damages awarded by the National Green Tribunal against developed countries, than from what industrialised countries would ever be willing to part with voluntarily under the CBD.
Part II of this article to follow.
For the Green Climate Fund see:
Anandi Sharan is a historian and blogger based in Bangalore. She was at one time running an NGO funded by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Clean Development Mechanism to pay for biogas plants and improved cookstoves in Kolar District and some Photovoltaic Lights in Tumkur District. Now she is a board member for a two year term of the Convention on Biodiversity Alliance. She also has a consultancy assignment to provide photovoltaic lighting systems for an NGO in Araria District. She can be contacted at email@example.com