An eco-efficient bioeconomy, combining environmental sustainability and economic advantage, has been promoted to alleviate resource constraints of rising global demand. For political forces resisting environmental degradation and people’s dispossession, several means are necessary to contest this global agenda and counterpose alternatives.
Ben McKay, Sérgio Sauer, Ben Richardson, Roman Herre
15 September 2014
Flex crops, spread over greater expanses of land, are increasingly interlinked through international exchange in food, feed and fuel. Brazilian exports of sugarcane ethanol to the US are in part influenced by the domestic US production of maize ethanol, which in turn is shaped by the price of feed and the soybean supply.
Flex trees seem to offer timely opportunities for socio-environmentally sustainable solutions, but also present dangers, particularly if such changes accelerate the concentration of land and plantation-based development, whereby forests compete with and may replace food production.
The Transnational Institute (TNI) -- through its Agrarian Justice work area -- is starting a major research on the rise of BRICS and middle income countries (MICs) and its implications for global agrarian transformations, with special attention to Chinese investments in Southeast Asia in collaboration with several universities.
EU agrofuels policy is having serious impacts on biodiversity, food provision and the livelihoods and food sovereignty of local communities in the global South and in the EU itself, as well as on climate change. Yet we seem locked into it because of lobbying by industry coupled with EU government collusion, delay and confusion.
Maria Luisa Mendonça, Fabio T. Pitta, Carlos Vinicius Xavier
18 July 2013
An examination of ethanol production in Brazil, highlighting the role of financial capital, the territorial expansion of agribusiness and the impacts on labour relations and indigenous peoples and peasant farmers.
Why despite ten years of accumulating evidence on the social and environmental cost of agrofuels, does the European Commission persist with its failed policies? An analysis of the EU's bioeconomy vision, how it is fuelling land grabs in Africa, the agrofuels lobby that drives policy, and the alternative visions for energy that are being ignored.
In the face of violent dispossession and incorporation into an exploitative labor regime, indigenous peasant families in northern Guatemala are struggling to access land and defend their resources as the basis of their collective identity.
The Uruguayan state-owned biofuels enterprise ALUR challenges many assumptions about the societal implications of biofuels production, as it supports local livelihoods, protects the environment, and is rooted in principles of social inclusion and national sovereignty.
EU plans to promote the replacement of fossil fuels with biomass could lead to hunger and environmental devastation, according to a report released by the World Development Movement and the Transnational Institute.
While the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) persists with its central focus of fostering competitiveness and exports of European agribusiness, it will continue to undermine small-scale farming and create greater food insecurity in the global South.
Implicit in the global land grab is the potential for a major water grab. A study of sub-Saharan Africa raises concerns that large-scale commercial agriculture could cause unforeseen but disproportionate impacts on access to water by small-scale producers.
The Procana Bioethanol project in Mozambique is a clear example of how agrofuel investments contribute rather than mitigate climate change, and are often accompanied by dispossession and impoverishment caused by landgrabbing.