Cochabamba, Bolivia, October 14, 2009 – The first hearing of the International Climate Justice Tribunal was celebrated on October 13 and 14 in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
The Tribunal heard a few cases from indigenous, African-descendant, peasant and fisherfolk peoples and nations from Peru, Colombia, El Salvador, Brazil and Bolivia. The cases were heard and analyzed by a tribunal formed by renowned social and environmental activists, including Ricardo Navarro from El Salvador, who represented there Friends of the Earth International.
“Rich countries have to drastically reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions now. This is the first step towards climate justice. Besides, the climate and ecological debt has to be recognized and paid. False solutions like agrofuels are not acceptable”, said Irene Velez of CENSAT AGUA VIVA (Friends of the Earth Colombia), co-coordinator of the climate justice program of Friends of the Earth International.
Some of the objectives of the Tribunal are:
+ Strenghten the social struggles for climate justice and raise the level of awareness on the need to respond urgently to the effects of climate change.
+ Influence the adoption of policies, strategies and environmental actions that are adequate for preventing and mitigating the effects of climate change and to stop the false solutions.
+ Promote the international judicialization and classification of environmental crimes.
+ Develop precedents of jurisprudence that contribute to the construction of a binding international body for the sanctioning of environmental crimes.
The First International Climate Justice Tribunal is also the result of an initiative of Bolivian President Evo Morales who, during a September 2009 UN conference, proposed the creation of a tribunal against climate change tasked with the permanent investigation of governments and corporations polluting the environment.
The administration of Evo Morales has shown a strong stance in defense of the environment and climate justice, and its positions in the UN climate talks have been very constructive, according to Friends of the Earth International.
The organizing committee of the First Hearing of the Tribunal is made up by organizations such as the Bolivian Platform against Climate Change, the Andean Coordination of Indigenous Organizations and Friends of the Earth International.
Irene Velez of CENSAT AGUA VIVA (Friends of the Earth Colombia) and co-coordinator of the climate justice program of Friends of the Earth International: mobile :+57-3-0061 08130. email: firstname.lastname@example.org