Coinciding with the Global Land Grab conference held at the University of Sussex, three leading commentators debate the politics of land deals; contrasting a World Bank "code of conduct" perspective with more critical analysis looking at human rights and labour issues.
The BRICS are following the pattern traditionally adopted by Northern countries of enclosing and exploiting land, both nationally and abroad, to benefit capital and global agro-industrialisation. They are also using law and diplomacy, notably Bilateral Investment Agreements, in order to facilitate access to foreign land, and foster their own economic interests.
European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC), Hands-Off The Land (HOTL) Alliance
24 June 2013
Land issues and 'land grabs' are mostly associated with the global South, however 13 country studies in this updated landmark report reveal an accelerating grab and concentration of land across Europe.
In Argentina, the accumulation of new lands for expanding mining and large-scale agribusiness requires displacement of current occupants. However, peasant resistance is shaping to achieve far-reaching structural change.
Land politics and the social movements mobilizing around land have changed profoundly, inspiring a new generation of scholar-activists. Professor Saturnino ('Jun') M. Borras explores land politics, agrarian movements and scholar-activism in his inaugural lecture at the International Institute for Social Studies.
What is the role of land in establishing lasting future peace in Myanmar? The country is at a crossroads, and facing rapid land polarization. However, the inauguration of a new government chosen by a landslide in historic elections offers an unprecedented opportunity to change course in a positive direction. An approach that prioritizes poor, vulnerable and marginalized groups especially ethnic nationalities, women, and youth, could lay a foundation for peace.
Jennifer Franco, Pietje Vervest, Tom Kramer, Alberto Alonso-Fradejas, Hannah Twomey
16 February 2015
Myanmar's National Land Use Policy promises to make profound changes to the current economic, social, and political-institutional landscape. This is an important and bold step, but its impact will depend on how it addresses the often “messy” details of actual land based social relations.
In the face of violent dispossession and incorporation into an exploitative labor regime, indigenous peasant families in northern Guatemala are struggling to access land and defend their resources as the basis of their collective identity.
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.
Corporate control of the food system in the US continues to undermine the livelihoods of farmers, farmworkers, fisherpeople, communities of color, and indigenous peoples in the US, but there are also increasing examples of community-based resistance, grassroots solidarity, and broad-based alliances that are resisting the corporate takeover.
Calls for codes of conduct for landgrabbing not only fail to tackle the main drivers of land dispossession but also legitimise a new wave of land enclosures that will affect many vulnerable rural communities.
The economic rise of China, India, Brazil and others has prompted plenty of speculation about its implications for US power and global governance. But what does the rise of these nations mean for social movements committed to economic, social and environmental justice? This Reader pulls together a series of working papers.