Watch This! NGO Newsletter #14 Member Spotlight – Tezulutlan Peoples’ Council

Scroll down for French and Spanish In this edition Maximo Ba Tiul, the head of international relations, presents the Tezulutlan Peoples’ Council, a member organisation of the Network that represents indigenous communities in Guatemala.  Could you introduce your organisation? The Tezulutlan People’s Council (Consejo de Pueblos de Tezulutlan, CPT) is a network of Q’echi, Poqomchi’, …

Response to the Letter from MEPs to the CDM Board on the Santa Rita hydroelectric plant project

Dear members of the European Parliament,
On behalf of the Chair of the CDM Executive Board, I would like to thank you for your communication of 20 May 2015, informing us of your serious concern about project 9713: Santa Rita Hydroelectric Plant. Your letter was made available to the CDM Executive Board (the Board).
I hereby inform you that project 9713” Santa Rita Hydroelectric Plant” was registered by the Board on 2 June 2014 after undergoing a review process at the request of Board members. The issues you raise in your letter were looked at during the course of this review and it was found that the proposed project activity had complied with the requirements of the CDM, including the local stakeholder consultation process. Further, the designated national authority (DNA) of Guatemala issued required letter of approval (dated 2 July 2012) confirming that the project will assist Guatemala in its efforts to achieve sustainable development. The DNA had also confirmed to the Board, in the course of the review of the project activity, that the local stakeholder consultation process was carried-out appropriately.

Open Letter from MEPs to the CDM Board on the Santa Rita hydroelectric plant project

Dear Mr Schneider and Mr Buendia,
As a Member of the European Parliament committed to the respect of Human Rights, we are writing to you to express our serious concern about the Santa Rita Hydroelectric Plant in the Dolores River in Guatemala, which was registered under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in June 2014 (project number 9713).
In a meeting in March 2015 with a representative of the local indigenous communities we learnt that many of the communities that will be impacted by the project were never consulted in accordance with the CDM local stakeholder consultation requirements. As a result, the project has been, and still is, in the center of a violent conflict between the communities and the power company implementing this project.

WATCH THIS! NGO Newsletter #11: ”A tour around international financial institutions: activists visit Europe to discuss accountability of climate finance”

Sharing experiences with existing climate mitigation mechanisms, such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and highlighting the severe impacts on basic human rights these UN mechanisms can have, activists from Africa, Asia and Central America met with financial institutions and policy makers involved in financing these projects. The accountability of climate finance was thereby discussed from a European perspective.

WATCH THIS! NGO Newsletter #11: Santa Rita hydro dam: ”A story of pain”

The Santa Rita hydro dam is a violation of the basic rights of native people. This project, supported by the State of Guatemala and the funds granted by the major banks of Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Netherlands and by the World Bank for the general development of the Q’ eqchi communities of the Dolores River, generated the consequences feared from the beginning: death, fear, populations displacement, expulsions and repression of the local communities.

European Parliament discusses human rights dimension of EU’s climate finance contributions

Last week in an event in the European Parliament, various stakeholders discussed experiences with existing climate mechanisms against the future climate finance policy landscape, where potentially huge amounts of climate finance will not only be channeled through the Green Climate Fund (GCF) but also through bilateral agreements and other instruments where it is still unclear what types of safeguards and compliance mechanisms will be applicable and how the respective public and private stakeholders involved will be accountable.

Letter to Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Subject: Request to support the indigenous peoples threatened with imminent and serious harm by the Santa Rita Hydroelectric Dam in Guatemala
Dear Special Rapporteur Tauli-Corpuz, the undersigned organizations respectfully write to you to bring your attention to the Santa Rita hydroelectric dam in Guatemala. The dam was registered as a project under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) – established under the UN’s Kyoto Protocol – in June 20141. Numerous violations against the indigenous Q’eqchi´ and Poqomchí communities have been reported prior to and since project approval, most recently in violent incidents from 14 to 16 August 2014 resulting in several injuries and deaths.

Fact Sheet – Santa Rita, CDM Hydro Dam in Guatemala

ENGLISH The Santa Rita Hydroelectric Plant in the Dolores River in the Alta Verapaz region in Guatemala was registered as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project in June 2014. The communities living in the Alta Verapaz region are completely dependent on the water of the river for their livelihoods. The Guatemalan Agreement on Identity and Rights of Indigenous Peoples …

Open letter to Mr Stavros Lambrinidis – EU Special Representative for Human Rights

24 February 2015
Subject: Promoting human rights in all climate actions – EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy
Dear Mr Lambrinidis, the undersigned organisations urge you to include in the updated EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy an objective for the EU to pursue a human rights based approach in all areas of its external action without exception, including climate change related activities. Climate change is a global injustice to present and future generations, and one of the greatest human rights challenges of our time. We are highly concerned about the grave harm that climate change is already causing both in Europe and beyond, and will continue to cause, to people and communities as well as to the environment on which we all depend.

Press Release: Civil society groups call on UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to investigate UN offset project

28 October 2014, Brussels, Guatemala City. This month, Guatemalan and international civil society organisations have asked UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to support indigenous communities threatened with imminent and serious harm by the Santa Rita hydroelectric dam in Guatemala which was registered under the UN’s carbon offsetting scheme in June 2014. …