The bioeconomy is promoted as a response to current global social and environmental crises, with its promise of replacing fossil fuels with ‘renewable’ biological resources. How does it play out on the ground? Who wins and who loses? And what are the alternatives?
Jennifer Franco, Hannah Twomey, Khu Khu Ju, Pietje Vervest, Tom Kramer
28 January 2016
“Land is like our vein; it is vital for our living. After our land was confiscated, we don’t know what to do for our livelihood,” says a farmer from Kachin State in Myanmar. Today many inhabitants of rural communities in Myanmar live under threat of losing their lands in a battle for resources spurred by ethnic conflict, exploitative land laws, and powerful economic actors. The existence of a legal right to the land does not translate into that right being respected in practice, and people across the country are now working to protect their right to the land.
Top-down conservation projects, (Eco-)tourism, large-scale aquaculture and the expansion of industrial infrastructure are transforming Myanmar. Myanmar's coastal and inland aquatic resources are vast, but these evolving processes and dynamics raise important questions about who benefits from using these resources, who gets to access them and where control lies.
The expansion of tree plantations and non-food crops is frequently left out of analysis on land grabbing, but is a crucial part of the picture. This paper provides an up-to-date review of tree plantations worldwide and summarises the latest research and data on their impact.
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.
Philippa de Boissière, Joanna Cabello, Thomas McDonagh, Aldo Orellana López, Jim Shultz, Pascoe Sabido, Rachel Tansey, Sian Cowman
01 December 2014
An examination of the destructive environmental record of Repsol, Glencore Xstrata and Enel-Endesa in Latin America and worldwide is clear evidence that transnational corporations should have no place in decision-making around the climate.
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.
Jennifer Franco, Lucia Goldfarb, David Fig, Luisa Mendonca, Les Levidow, Mireille Hoenicke
06 April 2010
In recent years, there has been renewed interest in developing agrofuels on a large scale as an alternative to fossil fuel. EU biofuels policy, in particular, assumes that the environmental impacts associated with agrofuels production will be largely beneficial. This study questions such optimistic assumptions.
The fundamental flaw at the heart of UNEP's report "Towards a Green Economy" is its failure to analyse the extraordinarily unequal power relations that exist in today’s world, and the interests at play in the operation of this global economic system.
Climate talks in Lima will be subject to intense lobbying by some of the biggest industrial polluters. They not only cause serious social and environmental conflicts where they extract fossil fuels, their capture of decision-making also prevents a real solution to the climate crisis.
Alberto Alonso-Fradejas, Juan Liu, Tania Salerno, Yunan Xu
19 May 2015
The ‘how’ and ‘why’ of oil palm flexing is heavily influenced by a synthesis of forces and relations within and around the oil palm value web. These dynamics impact the way flexing among oil palm’s different uses is influenced and/or carried out by various powerful actors within the state, the private sector, and civil society.