Climate warning
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FICO

Climate warning

Lying to get indigenous community cede their forest rights, a new practice of credit carbon companies?

Violation of indigenous rights, lies, commercial fraud, and unproven methodologies… Welcome to the wonderful world of (some) carbon credit companies. After the Verra scandal that revealed that 94% of its rainforest carbon offsets had no benefit to the climate, you would expect that carbon offset and carbon credit companies will do better and become more sustainable. Well… spoiler: no, they did not. An investigation by Mongabay shows that several companies, including the Foreign Investment Company (FICO) in Panama, have falsely claimed UN endorsement to persuade Indigenous communities in Peru, Bolivia, and Panama to cede the economic rights to their forests for extended periods. These companies promised Indigenous communities jobs and local development projects in exchange for allowing more than 9.5 million hectares of forests to be put on the market. The problem? They not only lied regarding the endorsement by the UN (which is what made indigenous communities sign the contracts), but the efficiency of their methodology hasn’t been proven and the companies lack a demonstrated track record in sustainable finance projects. So yes, this means that indigenous communities –who acted as guardians for these critical ecosystems– have now lost their rights over 9.5 million hectares of forests. And, yes, it does mean that companies that don't hesitate to lie and refuse to reveal their methodology and prove their efficiency are now managing these 9.5 million hectares of forests. I am not saying that the methodology they use is bad, nor am I saying that these carbon credits are bad. What I am saying is simply that if a company needs to lie to get access to lands, it means that this company isn’t as great as it claims to be! We need regulations to limit abuses of the sustainable finance industry against indigenous communities! How can such companies call themselves and their practices sustainable?
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Read the full investigation on Mongabay:



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FICO

13 w

With all the respect we have for good journalism, we cannot fail to express our indignation at the material published by Gloria Palhares/Mongabay on January 4th of this year. This is a shallow matter with an infinity of misconceptions that sow countless untruths that make it very easy for us to prove the truth of the facts. Disseminating information full of mistakes, lack of understanding of facts and lies is something old, what has changed is the name currently given (Fake News) and the scale of the problem and the ease of sharing, making news (and Fake News) spread more quickly and this speed can bring losses to those involved in the content that has already led to the lynching of people and the extinction of companies based on lies. You, Gentlemen, placed their photos of authentic, legitimate documents claiming to be false. Regarding the Climate Embassy, the following statements are false, and we have as proof the original documents of: 1) Accreditation of projects carried out by CIFAL Argentina; 2) Appointment of Mrs. Silvana Goncalves de Castro as representative in Brasília; 3) Authorization for the use of the Cifal Argentina logo by the Climate Embassy; Regarding the Foreign Investment Company, the following statements are false, and we have as proof the original documents of: 1) FICO (represented by its affiliate Banco FICO de Carbono Florestal Ltda) which is part of a tripartite corporate friendly agreement between Gueland SA and Comarca Embera Wounaan. 2) FICO has accreditation of the IFC methodology issued by CIFAL ARGENTINA as a promoter of solutions to social and environmental demands within the Cémaco and Simbu communities 3) FICO has academic opinion and recommendations from renowned experts, one of which is a Nobel Peace Prize winner; 4) FICO applies its methodology based on what the UN asks for, which is the creation of new market mechanisms based on ESG/ASG. 5) COLAC manager was not fired due to signing and issuing documents related to FICO. The signed documents were even approved by the COLAC board of directors. Therefore, we would like to establish a dialogue with you so that you know the evidence as well as our work so that it can be publicized in a way that establishes the truth. The company Get Life mentioned in the article, and a FICO client, is also interested in clarifying the untruths mentioned there. We call on all other media outlets around the world that work in the field of forest sustainability, and that have mastered technical and voluntary knowledge about the pillars of the 5 P,s; to visit us on site and learn about our work, which is carried out with supervision and opinions imbued under the Synthesis of the IFC Methodology linked to the Ethical and Philosophical Principles Considering the Historical, Social, Economic and Legal Framework, as an innovation post COP2015/PARIS promoting content with the Sustainable Development Mechanism (voluntarily aimed at indigenous peoples, this is how they will understand the sordid LIE that Palhares/Mongabay created from their minds, as there IS no dominion or taking of rights to ownership of indigenous lands (their forests), what DOES exist is a technical agreement in a friendly corporate partnership. We think that; with the presence of media from all over the world, we will be able to prove the suitability of the facts and finally in this disqualified and supposed Investigative Journalism, full of Sensationalism prepared by Gloria Palhares on behalf of the NGO Mongabay.

10
  • Esther Wanjiku

    13 w

    This practice of taking advantage of vulnerable communities by selling them lies is very unfortunate.Carbon credits are not a verifiable and tangible way of addressing the climate crisis and as such people should not be losing their indigenous land.

    2
    • FICO

      13 w

      With all the respect we have for good journalism, we cannot fail to express our indignation at the material published by Gloria Palhares/Mongabay on January 4th of this year. This is a shallow matter with an infinity of misconceptions that sow countless untruths that make it very easy for us to prove the truth of the facts. Disseminating information full of mistakes, lack of understanding of facts and lies is something old, what has changed is the name currently given (Fake News) and the scale of the problem and the ease of sharing, making news (and Fake News) spread more quickly and this speed can bring losses to those involved in the content that has already led to the lynching of people and the extinction of companies based on lies. You, Gentlemen, placed their photos of authentic, legitimate documents claiming to be false. Regarding the Climate Embassy, the following statements are false, and we have as proof the original documents of: 1) Accreditation of projects carried out by CIFAL Argentina; 2) Appointment of Mrs. Silvana Goncalves de Castro as representative in Brasília; 3) Authorization for the use of the Cifal Argentina logo by the Climate Embassy; Regarding the Foreign Investment Company, the following statements are false, and we have as proof the original documents of: 1) FICO (represented by its affiliate Banco FICO de Carbono Florestal Ltda) which is part of a tripartite corporate friendly agreement between Gueland SA and Comarca Embera Wounaan. 2) FICO has accreditation of the IFC methodology issued by CIFAL ARGENTINA as a promoter of solutions to social and environmental demands within the Cémaco and Simbu communities 3) FICO has academic opinion and recommendations from renowned experts, one of which is a Nobel Peace Prize winner; 4) FICO applies its methodology based on what the UN asks for, which is the creation of new market mechanisms based on ESG/ASG. 5) COLAC manager was not fired due to signing and issuing documents related to FICO. The signed documents were even approved by the COLAC board of directors. Therefore, we would like to establish a dialogue with you so that you know the evidence as well as our work so that it can be publicized in a way that establishes the truth. The company Get Life mentioned in the article, and a FICO client, is also interested in clarifying the untruths mentioned there. We call on all other media outlets around the world that work in the field of forest sustainability, and that have mastered technical and voluntary knowledge about the pillars of the 5 P,s; to visit us on site and learn about our work, which is carried out with supervision and opinions imbued under the Synthesis of the IFC Methodology linked to the Ethical and Philosophical Principles Considering the Historical, Social, Economic and Legal Framework, as an innovation post COP2015/PARIS promoting content with the Sustainable Development Mechanism (voluntarily aimed at indigenous peoples, this is how they will understand the sordid LIE that Palhares/Mongabay created from their minds, as there IS no dominion or taking of rights to ownership of indigenous lands (their forests), what DOES exist is a technical agreement in a friendly corporate partnership. We think that; with the presence of media from all over the world, we will be able to prove the suitability of the facts and finally in this disqualified and supposed Investigative Journalism, full of Sensationalism prepared by Gloria Palhares on behalf of the NGO Mongabay.

      10
      • Adam Wallin

        13 w

        @ficoglobal Thank you for this extensive response!

        7
        • Marine Stephan

          13 w

          @ficoglobal Thank you for your extensive answer, I am glad you joined the climate dialogue. It is always better to have both sides of the story. I think what carbon credit companies are mostly missing is transparency. When looking at your website, you can easily get confused with some wordings for instance. To just take an example, you write side by side on your methodology page (https://ficoglobal.com/ifc/) "Con el apoyo de Forest Science" and "Apoyo a los ODS de la ONU" which can easily make people think you are directly endorsed by the UN, especially when we take into account what can be lost in translation, mistranslations, etc. I understand that this may not be intentional, but with the lack of regulations in this market and the different scandals, it is understandable that some people are suspicious. Nonetheless, I appreciate that you took the time to answer this climate review and set the record straight!

          7
          • Kaitlin Arnol

            12 w

            @ficoglobal not once did I see personalized statistical data // numbers whereas Gloria Palhares//Mongabay

            1
            • Ingmar Rentzhog

              12 w

              @ficoglobal Thanks for adding facts and participating in our dialogue!

              1
              • Joseph Githinji

                10 w

                @ficoglobal getting back on this platform as a right of reply means great responsibility, a good example to the rest of the companies and individuals to take responsibility. As a journalist I also condemn sensational reporting and further seek transparency from all carbon credit companies. Let's green the environment together.

                1
              • George Kariuki

                13 w

                I stand firmly against such practices and believe urgent action is needed to protect indigenous rights and ensure ethical carbon offsetting.

                5
                • walter lungayi

                  14 w

                  This is a concerning and unethical practice that needs to be addressed and stopped immediately.

                  6
                  • Princess

                    14 w

                    This is ethically unacceptable, exploiting vulnerable populations and jeopardizing environmental conservation efforts.

                    5
                    • We Don't Have Time

                      14 w

                      Dear Marine Stephan Your climate warning has received over 50 agrees! We have reached out to FICO by email and requested a response. I will keep you updated on any progress! To reach more people and increase the chance of a response, click the Share button above to share the review on your social accounts. For every new member that joins We Don't Have Time from your network, we will plant a tree and attribute it to you! /Adam, We Don't Have Time

                      5
                      • Elizabeth Gathigia

                        14 w

                        This really bad, the rights of indigenous should be respected and the ones involved in violating the rights of people to face the force of law

                        8
                        • Joseph Githinji

                          14 w

                          This sounds so absurd, extortion of indigenous communities for financial gain is unacceptable.

                          8
                          • Munene Mugambi

                            14 w

                            Say no to exploitation of native lands and communities by corporations in order to use their lands for profits. No!

                            9
                            • Jane Wangui

                              14 w

                              @munene_mugambi someone should advise these people on how to safeguard their rights and ensure they are not violated.

                              8
                            • johnte ndeto

                              14 w

                              This is such an insensitive move to deny indigenous communities of their rights for greed and aquatic life exploitation

                              11
                              • Joseph Githinji

                                14 w

                                @johnte_ndeto this should be punishable, it is really disgraceful.

                                7
                                • Esther Wanjiku

                                  13 w

                                  @johnte_ndeto Taking advantage of the less emancipated for a few credits is just inhumane

                                  1
                                • Abraham Jok Atem

                                  14 w

                                  Violation of indigenous rights is disasterious to our environment and Climate. It must be stopped with an immediate effect

                                  12
                                  • Joseph Githinji

                                    14 w

                                    @abraham_jok_atem absolutely, those involved must face the full force of law.

                                    7
                                    • CHRIS NGATIA

                                      14 w

                                      @abraham_jok_atem it needs to come to an end

                                      3
                                    • Sarah Chabane

                                      14 w

                                      Wow, this is pretty bad, looking forward to reading FICO's justification

                                      8
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