Recently, an Australian businessman visited Peru and attempted to set up a REDD-type deal with the indigenous Matsés people. The Matsés rejected his approach and AIDESEP (Inter-Ethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Amazon) demanded his expulsion from Peru. REDD-Monitor has (so far) written two posts about this story.
This morning REDD-Monitor received an email from Bluehost, REDD-Monitor’s web hosting provider. The email stated that Bluehost had received a “report of Terms of Service Violations”. Bluehost demanded that all images and references to the name of the Australian businessman be removed from the website.
Click here for the non-censored version of this post.
Bluehost’s Terms of Service include a series of “prohibited uses”, including this one:
Private Information and Images. Subscribers may not post or disclose any personal or private information about or images of children or any third party without the consent of said party (or a parent’s consent in the case of a minor).
Because I don’t really want Bluehost to pull the plug on REDD-Monitor, the Australian businessman’s name has (for the time-being, at least) been replaced throughout REDD-Monitor with this image: .
It’s difficult to believe that Bluehost really intends this clause to be used to prevent any website hosted on Bluehost’s servers from using anyone else’s name without first getting their consent. But that is what appears to be doing (I’m assuming that sent the complaint to Bluehost). This interpretation of Bluehost’s Terms of Service would make it just about impossible to write anything critical about anyone on any website hosted by Bluehost. It also appears to be in breach of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which states that:
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
I have pointed this out to Bluehost. Meanwhile, REDD-Monitor’s discussions with Bluehost are ongoing.
The matter is somewhat complicated by the fact that not long ago, commented on a previous post on REDD-Monitor asking for an interview, in order that he could explain the “really facts”. Perhaps foolishly, given his subsequent complaint to Bluehost, he used his real name.
When REDD-Monitor sent a series of questions to , he replied as follows:
To: Chris Lang
Date: 6 August 2011 11:35
Subject: Live Interview
Dear Mr Lang
I would be delighted to do a live interview with you face to face please provide me with a time and place.
I pointed out that as is based in Australia, meeting face to face would be both a waste of money and a would result in unnecessary carbon emissions. I offered an interview by skype or that could record his answers and send them to me.
That was three days ago. Since when I’ve heard nothing from except via Bluehost with his complaint about the use of his “personal information”. Here, for the record, are REDD-Monitor’s questions for . REDD-Monitor looks forward to posting ‘s answer.
From: Chris Lang
Sent: Friday, 5 August 2011 7:13 PM
Subject: Interview for redd-monitor.org
Dear Mr. ,
Thanks for getting in touch via your comment on REDD-Monitor. I would be grateful if you could answer the following questions about your activities in Peru and elsewhere.
1. Please describe your background and how you became a carbon trader. When did you set up the company Sustainable Carbon Resources Limited? How many people are employed in the company? Could you explain why the company is registered in Hong Kong? For several months, the company website was “under development”. It now seems to have disappeared. Could you please explain why your company, which promised “billions of dollars” to the Matsés does not even have a functioning website?
2. Has Sustainable Carbon Resources Ltd produced any documentation about its forest carbon activities? If so, I would be grateful if you could send me a copy. Has the company raised any financing to carry out its forest carbon activities?
3. Why did you decide to travel to Peru? And why did you choose the Matsés people for your first carbon deal in that country?
4. Do you have any previous experience of establishing forest conservation projects, or of working with indigenous peoples? Did you employ an anthropologist to help with translation and with contacting the Matsés people, for example?
5. Did you contact the Peruvian government before travelling to Iquitos to inform them about your proposed project? Is any government permissions required for this sort of project in Peru?
6. Which NGOs did you work with in Peru? Did you contact AIDESEP (Inter-Ethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Amazon) before attempting to set up your carbon deal with the Matsés? If not, why not?
7. REDD-Monitor has seen a “Joint Venture Agreement” between Sustainable Carbon Resources Ltd and the Matses Indigenous People. I assume you hired a legal company to write this document. Could you please explain who wrote this contract and why the contract is written in English.
8. In a previous post on REDD-Monitor, I described you as having “a chequered past”. You have been accused in the Australian Parliament of selling non-existent plots of land in Queensland to investors in Nauru. Leo Keke, a former Minister of Justice on Nauru has written that you “made fools of the innocent and simple Nauruan investors.” Could you please explain exactly what happened with the land deal in Queensland.
9. I understand you have also had business dealings in the Philippines, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea. Could you please describe these projects. Have you, so far, established any successful forest carbon projects? Have you sold any carbon credits from any of these projects?
10. There is a great deal of discussion among REDD proponents about free, prior and informed consent. Could you please explain how you intend to carry out a process of free, prior and informed consent in setting up your projects in indigenous territories.
11. Carbon trading is one of the most controversial REDD issues. Could you please explain how your proposed project with the Matsés would generate carbon credits. What exactly does Sustainable Carbon Resources Ltd intend to do in order to ensure that the carbon stored in the Matsés’ forests remains in the forest? The Joint Venture Agreement mentions “sustainable forest management” – could you please explain what you understand by this term, how you define it and how (and who) would determine whether any logging carried out in the name of “sustainable forest management” is in fact sustainable.
12. Could you also explain how trading the carbon stored in forests will help address climate change, since for every carbon credit sold, there is a buyer who will use the carbon credit to continue pollution. In other words, while REDD may reduce emissions in one place, selling carbon credits will ensure continued burning of fossil fuels somewhere else.
If you have anything else you would like to add that isn’t covered in these questions, please do so.
The interview process on REDD-Monitor is as follows: first you answer the questions, then I ask any follow up questions to clarify your responses. Once you’ve answered the follow up questions, I do an edit which I send to you for re-writes, edits etc that you want to do. The interview will be published in full.
I look forward to hearing from you, please consider your response to be on the record.
Regards, Chris Lang