02 February 2012

Indigenous communities in Peru condemn the further adventures of an Australian carbon cowboy

In April 2011, the Inter-Ethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Amazon (AIDESEP) published the Declaration of Iquitos which opposed the proposed forest carbon trading activities of a Hong Kong registered company called Sustainable Carbon Resources Limited

By Chris Lang | REDD-Monitor | 31st January 2012

In November 2011, reports came out of Peru that a company called CISSA (Conservación e Inclusion Social Sostenible en la Amazonía) had signed an agreement for timber operations and carbon credits with communities of the Ampiyacu River Basin in Peru. CISSA appears not to be registered on the public register in Peru. In fact, another company, also registered in Hong Kong and called Amazon Holdings Limited, is actually behind the deal. According to this report, between 5-12 December 2011, Amazon Holdings Limited spent about US$40,000 on health care for local communities living in the area of the proposed project.

The man behind all three companies is an Australian. His name is:

Click on the image above for more information about his activities in Peru and his past record. This article from the Sydney Morning Herald sums up the problems: “Carbon Cowboys”.

Practically no information is available on the internet about Amazon Holdings Limited, but it appears to have been registered in Hong Kong on 31 August 2011.

wife’s name is Polly Lau. Her role seems to have been to sell the timber in China from the logging operation part of the deal. Polly Lau and are advertised to give presentations about real estate investment at an event in China in 2010. In the google translate version of the event website, is described as being an “experienced real estate investor with over 30 years experience in property development in Australia,” and as the “Australian Formula One racing team director in Asia”.

The signing of the agreement in Peru seems to have been between Amazon Holdings Limited and Javier Fasanando Julca, the President of the Federation of Yaguas People of the Apayacu River (FEPYRA). In a 5 November 2011 statement, FECONA, the Federation of Native Communities of the Ampiyacu, strongly rejects the forest carbon deal for the forests of the Ampiyacu River Basin. The statement is translated to English below (the original Spanish version is here). REDD-Monitor looks forward to publishing response to FECONA’s statement.


Against the sale of the natural resources and land of the native communities of the Amazon in Loreto, Peru and the rejection of the companies that are dividing and pressuring the people to sign agreements without an opportunity for free, prior and informed consent

Assembled in the communal headquarters of native communities of the Pucaurquillo Boras and the Pucaurquillo Huitotos, the leaders of FECONA, the communal authorities, the supporters and other aides; We discussed that 6 months have passed since the signing of the Declaration of Iquitos, and about the recent uncounseled actions of the President of the Federation of Yaguas People of the Apayacu River – FEPYRA, Mr. Javier Fasanando Julca and the statements of Dr. Edwin Floret of the Sub Management of Indigenous Nationalities of the Regional Government of Loreto, about the signing (of an agreement) by the Federation of the Ampiyacu – FECONA with a private company called CISSA, we declare the following:

  1. We clarify that the Federation of the Ampiyacu, called the Federation of Native Communities of the Ampiyacu – FECONA, we have not signed any contract with the private enterprise CISSA. We call on Dr. Edwin Floret to learn more about the associations which have signed the agreement, as his statements to the newspaper La Región of the 04 November 2011 implicate this prestigious Federation of the Ampiyacu.
  2. We reject the uncounseled actions of the President of the FEPYRA, Mr. Javier Fasanando for signing an agreement without the knowledge of his constituents, without knowing the content of the signed document, and without carrying out the consultation process which by law entitles native communities around the world and by the recent approval by the Peruvian Government of the new law for Free, Prior and Informed Consent for the indigenous peoples or natives.
  3. We declare that it is our understanding that the events that have divided and pressured the Matsés people into signing a business contract for carbon offsets where our brothers would have ceded the wealth of their land in favor of a private company, the terms of the agreement have been made known and some people have been condemned for this fact; we believe that the terms of the contract that they wanted the Matsés to sign demonstrates the bad faith of their company Sustainable Carbon Resources Limited and of their representatives to the natives of the Loreto region.
  4. We alert that the persons who have been involved and are members of the company Sustainable Carbon Resources Limited are the same as the company CISSA, and that they have entered the basin of the Apayacu River, area of the Federation of Indigenous Peoples of the Yaguas River – FEPYRA, with the same offers that they made to the Matsés, and that it is possible, that the President of the FEPYRA has signed a contract which is disadvantageous to his people, as similar attempts were made to have the leaders of Matsés sign, an inappropriate action which we reject.
  5. We ask the President of the Region Government of Loreto, Ivan Vásquez Valera, to publicly define or accept his links with Walter Cambero, , Jim King and Gerardo Arrieta Pastrana, likewise with the companies CISSA, Sustainable Carbon Resources Limited, Amazon Plantation Holdings, SAC and Amazon Holdings Limited. We also request the termination of the employment of Dr. Edwin Floret, the Sub Manager of Indigenous Nationalities of the Regional Government of Loreto for his statements in favor of those involved in the unsuccessful scam of the Matsés people and for supporting the signing of a contract that he says he knows and has read, that might be the same that was detrimental to the Matsés people and now it could adversely affect the people of the Apayacu, therefore demonstrating his friendly relationship with these individuals as he stated in his declarations of November 04, 2011 in the newspaper, La Region.
  6. We support the statements of the Secretary of Records and Archives of FEPYRA, Mr. Ángel Yaicate Murayari, who calls for the reading and discussion of the written agreement between the Federation and the company that was not signed in the manner as to reveal the facts, by trampling on the right to free, prior and informed consent as required by law that protects native communities. We call on national, regional and local authorities, the Office of the Defender of the People, the Bar of Attorneys, universities, indigenous organizations, and indigenous and human rights NGOs to heed complaints issued regarding these events.
  7. We support the request of our central organization AIDESEP through the Declaration of Iquitos dated April 27, 2011, ordering of expulsion from our country of Australian citizen , for the multitude of complaints of his defrauding indigenous peoples under the guise of providing benefits by using carbon credits, lands and natural resources. The information about this citizen in the media (press, radio, websites, etc.) are not positive, and therefore raises a reasonable doubt in order to demand his ouster from our country, we call upon the immigration authorities to complete an investigation of this person in other countries.
  8. We call upon our brothers of the Yaguas peoples of the Apayacu to become informed before signing any document that might compromise their wealth and territory. We call upon them for the sake of the future of their children and other generations, let us fight together for our development, lifestyle, ancestral culture and wealth that rightly belongs to us; do not let malicious people divide us and pressure and seduce us with false promises that ultimately end up bringing disgrace to our people and the seizing our forest and its benefits.

Finally, we invite all the trade union organizations and civil societies to join this pronouncement in support of indigenous peoples and against the bad intentions of foreign and domestic individuals, corrupt authorities and indigenous leaders who are blinded by the easy money, poorly led and seduced with promises of development that never come to his people. FECONA will not cease the struggle for the defense of their territories, riches, rights of its indigenous peoples until we make them respect us. An act signed in good faith of what has been understood to be the policy of the Federation, communal authorities and people attending the meeting.

Pucaurquillo, November 5, 2011

President of FECONA

Vice President of FECONA

Secretary of Health of FECONA

Treasurer of FECONA

Press Secretary of FECONA

Spokesperson for FECONA

Sra. Dalia Lorenza Flores Butuna
Justice of the Peace of the Native Community
Boras of Pucaurquillo – District of Pevas
Ramón Castillo – Loreto

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