whether Philippines' Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law becomes truly a vehicle for advancing reform will depend on whether pro-reform forces can create, at the local level, the critical political mass involving farmers, progressive elements at the Department of Agrarian Reform, the Church, and other groups that would overcome the rearguard actions of the landed class to delay the inevitable.
"The banks are ours!" Public money was used to bail out the banks, and now they are lending back to the public at interest, while governments ignore the social and environmental crises that confront society. It is time to demand real solutions that will work not only for the sake of the economy but for the lives and conditions of people on whom it depends.
The Indian Prime Minister's call to "go easy" on environmental regulation for fear of scaring off investors follows the flawed ideology that industrial development is the answer to poverty, when actually India's acute environmental deterioration should be the much greater concern.
In 2006–08, food shortages became a global reality, with the prices of commodities spiraling beyond the reach of vast numbers of people. International agencies were caught flatfooted, with the World Food Program warning that its rapidly diminishing food stocks might not be able to deal with the emergency.
The global rise in food prices is not only a consequence of using food crops to produce biofuels, but of the "free trade" policies promoted by international financial institutions. Now peasant organisations are leading the opposition to a capitalist industrial agriculture.
Harold Liversage, the Land Tenure Adviser for the International Fund for Agricultural Development argues that responsible investment in agriculture is possible if voluntary guidelines are backed up by an empowered civil society.