Development cooperation is an increasingly prominent focus in Chinese foreign diplomacy, and a central justification for Chinese firms’ engagement in large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) across the global South.
The time has come for a transformation of Europe’s food systems. Small-scale food producers, peasants, community groups, environmental justice activists and others have been calling for years for a shift towards agriculture that nourishes communities, regenerates ecosystems, and provides decent and sustainable livelihoods. The concept of agroecology encompasses these ambitions, referring to the science, movement, and practice of working with nature to build food sovereignty. The climate crisis and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have only made it clearer how urgent such a transformation is.
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.
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 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.
What is the potential and what are the challenges to implement the new “Voluntary Guidelines on the responsible governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests in the context of national food security"?
Ruth Hall, Zoe Brent, Jennifer Franco, Moenieba Isaacs, Tsegaye Shegro
05 October 2017
This Guide is drawn from experience in the action research project “Bottom-up accountability initiatives and large-scale land acquisitions in Africa”. The project aimed to bring the international soft law instrument, the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of the Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests (the Tenure Guidelines or TGs), to rural communities and, together with them, to use the Guidelines to strengthen their tenure of land, fisheries and forests.
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.
The Covid-19 pandemic has provoked widespread discussion of what kind of future the world should look forward to after the crisis. One of the areas of economic life around which there is spirited debate is the global food system. This paper focuses on how the pandemic has exposed the fragility of the corporate-dominated global food supply system and shown that it is not, as the Food and Agriculture Organization and its allied agencies see it, part of the solution.
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.
The Bangkok-based Sino-Thai company Choern Pakard Group (CP Group), Asia's largest and most prominent agro-food/feed corporation, has led an industrial maize contract farming scheme with (ex-)poppy upland smallholders in Shan State, northern Myanmar to supply China’s chicken-feed market. Thailand, as a Middle-Income Country (MIC) and regional powerhouse, has long-tapped China’s phenomenal economic growth and undersupplied consumer demand.
“Important steps have been made in national reconciliation during the past two years. But promises and ceremonies will never be enough. The long-standing aspirations of Burma’s peoples for peace and justice must find solutions during the present time of national transition.”
The desperate search for ways to combat climate change gives rise to new mitigation policies and projects, such as the support of large-scale ‘sustainable ’ forestry plantations. However, climate justice and climate mitigation cannot be met as long as large-scale industrial plantations continue to marginalise small-scale indigenous forest users who actively protect biodiverse forests.
Who gets how much and what kinds of land, how, and for what purposes? These are the basic questions around the politics of land. The question of land politics has been resurrected in a big way recently, worldwide, and in ways significantly different from the past.