Land politics – who controls what land, how is it used, for how long, for what purposes and to whose benefit – is a central pillar of this debate. As politicians across Europe struggle to balance the urgent need for climate action with the need to strengthen equity and popular support for new policies, the risk of societal discord looms large, fuelled by farmer protests, perceptions of ‘agri-bashing,’ and long-running tensions between conservation movements and agricultural communities. This has been made more complicated by the interweaving of questions of land and national identity and an apparently increasing disconnect between those living in rural and urban areas.
This brief explores the politics behind the promise of ‘blue growth'. We have discovered that the discourse around blue growth, blue economy, blue revolution and the like is a masterfully mixed and powerful cocktail. The ingredients that make up this mix are the subject of this brief, and our intention is to explore the function of each component of the cocktail.
Much touted "land investment" involves appropriation or landgrabbing. What positive alternative investments should public policy support which would strengthen the right to food, re-valorise agricultural work, and build up ecological capital?
A series of infographics that expose the massive concentration of land in Europe. Over the last decade, the EU has lost a third of all its small farms, 3% of its farms now own 52% of farm land, and land inequality has become worse than wealth inequality.
Cecilia Olivet, Timothé Feodoroff, Pia Eberhardt, Emma Lui, Stuart Trew
13 May 2013
As European Union (EU) member states consider the implications of environmentally risky shale gas development (fracking), negotiations are underway for a controversial EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) which would grant investors the right to challenge governments’ decision to ban and regulate fracking.
The investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clause present in many trade treaties give investors far-reaching protection, curtailing governments’ ability to regulate for progressive agrarian and agricultural policies and reinforcing the notion of land as a commodity.
'Policy Shift' identifies ten key policy changes that are required to support just alternative agriculture investments. The approach integrates human rights into the core of decision-making and is informed by practical, on-the-ground examples of positive agricultural investments that benefit both small-scale farmers and communities.
Projects protecting Jakarta against floods are likely to damage the environment and could threaten the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people. The Dutch government, supporting these projects, should question how it balances its interest in supporting Dutch companies with its stated policies of sustainable and inclusive development.
European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC), Hands-Off The Land (HOTL) Alliance
24 June 2013
Land issues and 'land grabs' are mostly associated with the global South, however 13 country studies in this updated landmark report reveal an accelerating grab and concentration of land across Europe.
The dominant perception of land-grabbing as a threat is being replaced by a new story line, promoted by, amongst other, the World Bank—that of new land deals as a potential opportunity for rural development. But this supposed win-win formula raises many problems, doubts and concerns.
This fact sheet highlights the involvement of the EU in the global land grab, both directly through the involvement of European capital and corporations in the acquisition of land and indirectly through EU policies that commodify land.
Access to and control over land and associated natural resources play a key role in whether and how rural working people are able to build decent and dignified livelihoods, avoid or escape hunger, participate in decision-making, avoid or escape political exclusion and marginalization, and sustain collective identities and social reproduction processes.
This introduction to Land Grabbing and agrarian political economy looks at various issues in the debate, the different theoretical perspectives, as well as the relations between state, capital and society, and the politics of change, resistance and mobilisation for alternatives.
Transnational Agrarian Movements (TAMs) have emerged in the last decade, resisting and contesting unfair land policies; but how do they differ from region to region, and how do their ideological, political and institutional differences affect their relationship to international development agencies?