Katie Sandwell, Angélica Castañeda Flores, Lyda Fernanda Forero, Jennifer Franco, Sofia Monsalve Suárez, Andrea Nuila, Philip Seufert
10 December 2019
We urgently need new, revitalised, visions of human rights, and rural communities are in the process of building just these kinds of visions. The climate crisis poses massive threats to human rights, but so do mainstream technical and economic climate ‘solutions’, and rising authoritarian voices around the world. The battle for resources and territories, including land, water, fisheries, and forests is becoming increasingly intense, with land-intensive renewable energy projects and the drive to marketise carbon and biodiversity additional threats to nature and to the livelihoods of rural and indigenous people around the world.
Delegates to the Our Oceans conference are gathering to discuss ocean sustainability, but there’s a big problem: their proposals will only sanitize continued resource extraction and environmental and ecological degradation.
Northern African countries are key suppliers of natural resources to the global economy, from large- scale oil and gas extraction in Algeria and Tunisia, to phosphate mining in Tunisia and Morocco, to water-intensive agribusiness paired with tourism in Morocco and Tunisia. The commodification of nature and privatisation of resources entailed in these projects has led to serious environmental damages, and forced these countries into a subservient position in the global economy, sustaining and deepening global inequalities.
Giant corporations have taken control of our food. In the last two years, these companies have begun the process of merging and re-arranging themselves into just four colossal corporations. The larger these companies grow, the less we can control them. And the less control we have, the harder it is for us to build the kind of food system that more and more of us want: one that recognizes the value of people, respects the planet, and provides decent, dignified work. How did this happen, and what can we do about it?
The climate crisis is a manifestation of the systemic, capitalist crisis. We demand governments tackle the climate crisis by ending corporate power, facilitated by the trade and investment regime, that has long destroyed livelihoods and communities.
This corporate impunity has led to the wholesale looting of the biosphere, authoritarian responses and worsening social, political and environmental conflicts, particularly in the Global South.
This report is based on on-going collaborative research between the Transnational Institute (TNI) and the Indonesian traditional fisher folk union, Kesatuan Nelayan Tradisional Indonesia (KNTI). For the past decade, Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) has become a popular policy tool to resolve conflicts over and in ocean space. Proponents claim that MSP can ensure a process that balances competing interests between different users of ocean space from large-scale extractive industries, to tourism companies to small-scale fishers.
What are the implications of the rise of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) for agrarian and environmental transformations, worldwide and in the BRICS countries in particular? This is the main issue with which the BRICS Initiative for Critical Agrarian Studies (BICAS) has been concerned since 2013, when it was launched in Beijing by a collective of largely BRICS-based research institutions1.
“Power inferno”, this is the title Jean Baudrillard gave to one of his essays in the aftermath of the attack on the Twin Towers, paraphrasing the title of a catastrophic film that hit the billboards years earlier: A “Tower Inferno”. A hell of power. This we might say today, as in past occasions, of the Amazon, an image of fire, destruction and resistance, that has been cyclically appearing and reappearing in the media, and that periodically unleashes indignation and helplessness, as if the Amazon were some sort of symbol of past and future apocalypse.
Across the world, peasants, pastoralists, fishers, and indigenous peoples are losing their once effective control over the land, water, wetlands, pastures, fishing grounds and forests on which they depend including the right to decide how these natural resources will be used, when and by whom, at what scale and for what purposes, often for generations to come.
Jeannette Oppedijk van Veen, Leonardo van den Berg, Sijtse Jan Roeters, Jolke de Moel, Hanny van Geel
17 April 2019
Against the backdrop of an agrarian landscape that has become more homogenous, sterile and empty over the past 50 years, a new movement of Dutch farmers and citizens is emerging. They want to support a type of agriculture that does not damage the environment, enriches the life of farmers and citizens, and produces healthy food. This desire is expressed through a vast array of initiatives. It includes growers who allow citizens to undertake their harvesting, dairy farmers who plant trees and herbs in the field, cereal farmers who sell directly to local bakers, farms in which citizens become shareholders, and many more.
Our relationship to the ocean has changed greatly over the centuries. For those who fish, it is their livelihood, while for trade the ocean is considered simply a surface across which goods can be shipped. At the beginning of the 20th century another era began, centred on the extraction of ocean resources from the seabed, and today there is talk of the “blue economy”, which promises a triple win on the ecological, social and economic fronts.
On 23 and 24 October, Norway will host the “Our Ocean” conference: An annual international conference that was initiated in 2014 by the US Department of State outside of any UN process. The people who live with and are surrounded by the ocean, and who are most affected by the deterioration of the marine environment, are not present in the conference panels: Fishers, coastal communities and first-affected by climate change indigenous groups.
The energy transition is in the news. Interest in energy transition ranges from actors such as peoples in resistance, workers, academics, and public administrations, to large corporations, international institutions and governments. The paradigm of energy transition, if it exists, runs a serious risk of being coopted by large companies, of being trivialized and placed at the service of the current system of social reproduction that seeks to perpetuate existing power relations.