JOAS Not Involved In Deal With Australian Company

Posted on August 10, 2010. Filed under: Indigenous People |

-(Bernama) — Indigenous Peoples Network of Malaysia (JOAS) said Tuesday that it was not involved in a forest carbon deal with an Australian carbon company.

Referring to a news report on Aug 6, “Australia firm signs forest CO2 deal with Malaysian Tribes”, JOAS president Adrian Lasimbang said: “We will like to state that our network was not involved in this and to the best of our knowledge, we do not know which of the 24 villagers or nine community leaders are involved in that project.”

According to the report, an Australian carbon services company had signed a deal with nine Malaysian tribal leaders to certify carbon offsets from a project aimed at preserving more than 100,000 hectares of tropical forest.

The deal, according to the report, would allow the tribes in Sarawak to earn a share of proceeds from the sale of carbon offsets to help them manage and protect the forest over a period of 20 years, with potential payment worth millions of dollars.

Adrian said that JOAS did not support the implementation of REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) in any form, unless the parties involved in the deal have adequate consultation and FPIC (free, prior informed consent).

“We feel it is important to make it clear that it was not our network that was involved in this deal as we strongly and consistently endorse a process of FPIC before signing any deal that involves our forests and territories,” he said.

Adrian said the tribes were fully aware about a mandatory process and at the same time know that an independent workshop should be conducted to allow tribal communities to make their own decisions regarding communal forest.

“We hope that the company has at least ensured that the communities have access to their own lawyers who can independently advise them on the legal matters involved,” he added.

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