BRICS countries’ investors play an increasingly crucial role in land investments. Just as the global trend of increased interest and investment in land has led to a surge of land grabbing, BRICS investments have proved no different.
The release of the draft policy, part of a process towards enacting a new National Land Law and “harmonising” existing legislation, was greeted with objections and criticism from farmers’ organisations and ethnic minority groups throughout the country.
Ensuring that investment in agriculture is done responsibly is vital for indigenous peoples, whose identities and cultural survival are inextricably linked to their lands and natural resources. Respecting this link is a fundamental principle in international law and jurisprudence, the recognition of which indigenous peoples have fought for and won and which reaffirms their right to determine the outcome of decision-making that affects them, rather than merely being involved in the process.
The RAI principles do not move further in navigating the slippery terrain of defining ‘responsible’ versus ‘irresponsible’ investment - possibly resulting in them doing more harm than good. It is essential to push back against a regressive use of the principles and monitor what other actors are doing in the name of the principles.
What is governance? There are different definitions, but it can be conceived as the way that authority is exercised. Governance is networked, globalised, territorialised and differentiated. Governance has different objectives for different actors and actor networks. While it is a contested concept, globally governance is becoming increasingly financialised, and in some cases this includes land governance.
ERPI is starting a Working Paper series, supported by a limited number of small grants, to allow for the writing up of original research. In parallel they are inviting short contributions in a variety of media that help to map out responses and alternatives. The Initiative will hold a major international conference, bringing this work together, with the aim of thinking together about new directions, both for academic research and practical action.
More than three years after the adoption of the Tenure Guidelines land and natural resource grabs in all forms continue unabated around the world, visiting their devastating impacts on local communities, environments with related human rights violations. The implementation and application of the Tenure Guidelines, therefore, remains a matter of extreme urgency.
Academics and activists come together to discuss who, how and with what social, economic and ecological implications we will feed the world. Together we will deepen our shared analysis, feed our curiosity, and work towards a shared vision of just and sustainable food systems.
Sacrifice zones – abandoned, economically shattered places – are spreading in historically white rural areas and small towns across the United States. Rural decline fosters regressive authoritarian politics.
Jennifer Franco, Hannah Twomey, 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.
A concise and indispensable critical guide to the global phenomenon of land grabbing. Find out how the global land grab is justified, what is driving it, why transparency and guidelines won't stop it, and learn about alternatives that could enable people and communities to regain control of their land and territories.
Zimbabwe's political crisis staggers on, but the untold story is that the agricultural economy is recovering well. In-depth research in Masvingo province shows that despite abuses and corruption in land reform, there have also been successful results from land-redistribution.