Free trade or slave trade? How the EU's free trade agreements in Colombia and Peru reward human rights abuses, destroy livelihoods, promote land grabbing and strip governments of their sovereignty to regulate capital flows.
In Europe, land speculation and land concentration are an increasing threat to small and medium sized family farms and new entrants. Soaring land prices make it increasingly difficult for farmers to have access to land. In the meantime, investors are buying up enormous pieces of land, sometimes using legal loopholes. Land is increasingly becoming a globally tradable commodity and an object of financial speculation. Examples such as Scotland and Andalusia, where arable land, pastures and forests are highly concentrated since centuries, show the negative effects for sustainable rural development and societies as a whole.
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.
At the heart of the growing inequalities in Europe are the issues of land concentration and land grabbing. It is a critical subject and is having severe impacts on the prospects and viability of our communities.
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"?
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 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.
One week before the official Asia-Europe government meeting (ASEM) gathers in Milan, over 400 people from 42 countries in Europe and Asia gathered at the 10th Asia-Europe Peoples forum (AEPF) to present their demands and recommendations.
This paper examines the policies and practices on land of the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom. After a market-led approach to land distribution in the 1980s, DFID made some changes towards a rights-based land policy, but this has since regressed.
Zoe Brent, Alberto Alonso-Fradejas, Gonzalo Colque, Sérgio Sauer
05 September 2017
Governments, social movements, corporations, and marginalized people around the world are increasingly involved in struggles and negotiations about the control of land and resources. Questions of who gets what land, how, how much, why and with what implications are being vigorously contested in a variety of spaces.
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.
In 2004 the EU Commission published EU Land Policy Guide-lines: Guidelines for Support to Land Policy Design and Land Policy Reform Process in Developing Countries. It proposes that steps be taken to allow the legal recognition of customary rights and to strengthen the institutional capacities of customary structures that enforce them.