Jennifer Franco, Danny Carranza, Joann Fernandez (Rightsnet)
07 October 2011
A Philippines biofuel project would appear to fit the World Bank's definition of a "win-win" scenario with its promise of jobs and conversion of 'idle land'. However a closer look unveils corporate manipulation, political corruption and exploitation of subsistence farmers that typically accompanies so-called "responsible investment"
We, women and men peasants, pastoralists, indigenous peoples and their allies, who gathered together in Nyeleni from 17-19 November 2011, have come from across the world for the first time to share with each other our experiences and struggles against land-grabbing.
The so-called “global land grab” continues the historic process of land enclosures described by Sir Thomas More in Utopia as “sheep eating men,” when English peasants were evicted from the commons to make room for private estates.
In the midst of a raging famine in the Horn of Africa and continuing expansion of land grabbing across the Global South, a new and critical report has been released by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition, of the Committee on World Food Security.
Two papers analysing the recent experience of Latin America, and Cuba in particular, support arguments that a shift from industrial-large scale farming to small-scale farming can bring environmental, economic and political benefits.
The free market approach to food security has depended too heavily on an unsustainable system of cheap food imports and high fossil-fuel consumption. It's time to counter this by supporting environmentally efficient small farms, and increasing investment in agro-ecological research.
This working paper reviews the latest experiences of land grabbing in Southern Africa, detailing questions of scale and duration, initiation, negotiation processes, production sectors, employment, natural resource use and more.
There is a lot of contention over approaches to land reform policy, in terms of how to involve the state, the market and communities; but what matters most for a socio-economically and politically sustainable solution, is that the policy is genuinely 'pro-poor'.
Jun Borras, Jennifer Franco, Cristobal Kay, Max Spoor
07 December 2011
A critical re-assessment of a UN FAO study on land grabbing finds that a too-narrow definition has obscured evidence of land grabbing on a wider geographical scale than previously thought; this research includes new evidence of cases in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Wealthy interests are pushing to normalise the concept of "responsible agricultural investment" but this corporate lingo masks the mass appropriation of land at the cost of local inhabitants (often forcibly removed), the destruction of livelihoods and the environment.
Coinciding with the Global Land Grab conference held at the University of Sussex, three leading commentators debate the politics of land deals; contrasting a World Bank "code of conduct" perspective with more critical analysis looking at human rights and labour issues.