Northern African countries are key suppliers of natural resources to the global economy, from large- scale oil and gas extraction in Algeria and Tunisia, to phosphate mining in Tunisia and Morocco, to water-intensive agribusiness paired with tourism in Morocco and Tunisia. The commodification of nature and privatisation of resources entailed in these projects has led to serious environmental damages, and forced these countries into a subservient position in the global economy, sustaining and deepening global inequalities.
How do dominant political-economic conditions articulate and manifest in rural spaces? This question is central to grasping the contextual dynamics of agrarian change and associated contestations, conflicts and struggles.
As Ecuador’s new president, Lenin Moreno Garcés, gave his inaugural speech to the National Assembly members, and a number of invited Latin American presidents, an important question is what will change after the ten-year incumbency of his predecessor, Rafael Correa.
Cecilia Olivet, Jaybee Garganera, Farah Sevilla, Joseph Purugganan
24 May 2016
Mining firms have been one of the main corporate sectors worldwide to take advantage of investor-state dispute mechanisms to sue states for regulation of mining, having sued governments for a total of USD 53 billion so far. The Philippines, one of five countries worldwide with the highest overall mineral reserves, has a web of investment treaties which severely constrain the government's ability to regulate or close polluting mines. This legal straitjacket will become even tighter if the EU–Philippines Free Trade Agreement and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) proceed.
The BRICS Initiative (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) for Critical Agrarian Studies (BICAS) is collaborating with several initiatives and institutions to hold an international conference with emphasis on agrarian change inside and outside BRICS countries in the context of global flows of capital, labor and agro-commodities from October 24-26 at China Agricultural University, Beijing. The deadline for abstracts is June 15, 2016
Climate change action demands moving to an energy system based on renewables and leaving fossil fuels in the ground. International investment agreements, and particularly ISDS, stand in the way of energy transition. They limit the ability of governments to set the terms of their energy policy, including the support of renewable energy. Investment agreements such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will further empower corporations to challenge strong government action on climate change
In recent years Africa has experienced waves of new investment, particularly in mining, energy and agriculture, and has seen elevated commodity exports. These flows are tantamount to a new scramble, creating wealth for foreign direct investors, some local entrepreneurs and a growing comprador class. Resources are typically exploited without raising the living standards of the people and at significant environmental cost. On the ground this has engendered significant resistance. The new scramble is a modification of traditional imperialist relationships which Africa experienced with former occupying colonial powers. But how do we understand the differences between the old and new scrambles? Who ultimately holds the power?
Latin America is at the forefront of thinking on how to build a new sustainable economy that rejects consumerism and extractivism. An exciting compilation on new ideas such as Buen Vivir that are reshaping the global debate on how to live in harmony with each other and nature.
Jennifer Franco, Timothé Feodoroff, Ana Maria Rey Martinez
18 October 2013
Linking the current boom of unconventional gas extraction within the broader pattern of land and water grabbing, this report explores where fracking is happening today, who is promoting it, how, and the state of resistance.
The European Union (EU) and their national governments are set to discuss increased shale gas extraction in Europe which will increase environmental and social harm as well as dangerous climate change.