Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Global Movement to Stop Africa Land Grab

Stop Africa Land GrabStop Africa Land Grab The Global Movement to Rollback Africa Land Grab

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About Land Grabbing

Land grabbing is the contentious issue of large-scale land acquisitions; the buying or leasing of large pieces of land in developing countries, by domestic and transnational companies, governments, and individuals. While used broadly throughout history, land grabbing as used today primarily refers to large-scale land acquisitions following the 2007-2008 world food price crisis. By prompting food security fears within the developed world and newfound economic opportunities for agricultural investors and speculators, the food price crisis caused a dramatic spike in large-scale agricultural investments, primarily foreign, in the Global South for the purposes of food and biofuels production. Initially hailed by investors and some developing countries as a new pathway towards agricultural development, investment in land has recently been criticized by a number of civil society, governmental, and multinational actors for the various negative impacts that it has had on local communities.
The target locations of most land grabs are in the Global South, with 70% of land grabs concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa. Other primary areas of note are in Southeast Asia and Latin America.


Land Grabbing in Africa: a Review of the Impacts and the Possible Policy Responses a research funded by the Pan Africa Programme of Oxfam International, conducted by Tinyade Kachika, Senior researcher.

The research highlights issue such as:
  • The Rise of Land Deals in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Land Grabbing and Risk for Small Scale Farmers,
  • Land Grabs: Another Yoke over Women’s Land Rights?
  • Opportunity for Groups at Risk: The African Union’s Continental Standards on Land Question
Click here to view PDF document for Land Grabbing in Africa: a Review of the Impacts and the Possible Policy Responses

Food Crisis and the Global Land Grab – a website, dedicated mainly to news reports about the global rush to buy up or lease farmlands abroad as a strategy to secure basic food supplies or simply for profit, a website, dedicated mainly to news reports about the global rush to buy up or lease farmlands abroad as a strategy to secure basic food supplies or simply for profit. Its purpose is to serve as a resource for those monitoring or researching the issue, particularly social activists, non-government organisations and journalists.
Click here to go to

What Is Land Grabbing?
  • Links About Land Grab
  • Quotes from displaced Africans
  • Africa Land Grab Countries
  • Some Foreign Countries, Firms and Individuals Involved in Land Grab in Africa

  • Africa Land Grab News



    The Source Film, for Friends of the Earth International
    Keywords/tagsLand grabbing, food security, agriculture, displacement
    Link to film
    SynopsisIn Kalangala, Uganda, John Muyisa woke up one day to find bulldozers clearing his land to plant oil palms. John and his community have preserved their forests and lands for generations. Now their way of life is at risk.
    Reviews/discussionLand grabbing explained
    This campaign highlights the destructive environmental and social impacts of unsustainable resource use in the global North and South. We are seeking to defend community territories, protect land rights and increase awareness of corporations’ agendas, strategies, abuses and violations.
    An elderly woman holds on to the fence separating her land, where she rears goats, from the advancing soya plantations, in Cordoba, Argentina.For centuries, communities have been intimidated to abandon – or forcibly removed from – their land in a seemingly endless battle to control natural resources. Today, these problems still occur and are manifesting in more direct and disturbing ways: multinational corporations occupy large swaths of community land that provides critical supplies for local populations in order to extract profitable resources – including crops for agrofuels, food, carbon offsets or minerals – for the benefit of often quite distant national and international elites.
    Driven by greed and materialism, the destruction of local communities and their environments often results in the violation of both human and community rights. We have seen increased militarization and criminalization of communities who resist the appropriation of their communal lands. We have also witnessed severe environmental degradation and the destruction of natural commons for the longevity of communities.
    More: Read our report on Land Grabbing in Uganda
    More: Watch this true story about resistance to Lord Grabbing
    This system continues to perpetuate the gross inequity in the distribution of natural commons (healthy ecosystems, water and air), create a poor underclass in both Global North and South, all of which further divide our world in to the haves and have-nots. Meanwhile, the consumers of these ill-begotten resources are not necessarily happier as a result of their consumption.
    This campaign seeks to stop the destructive consumption race by creating, protecting and enforcing community and individual rights to land and their commons. It will also challenge the current unsustainable consumptive patterns of elites and target specific commodities with the aim of significantly reducing their consumption.
    Investors must stop land grabbing, say civil society groups
    LONDON (UK), November 30, 2012 – Major farmland investors such as banks and pension funds must stop facilitating land grabs, say civil society groups [1] on the eve of a global farmland investment conference in London on 3-5 December. [2]
    Banks and pension funds are increasingly engaging in large-scale acquisitions of land with extremely damaging consequences for local populations. The London conference will bring together funds with more than USD3 trillion in assets to explore opportunities for investments in Africa, Latin America and Russia.
    The civil society groups are warning that pension funds and banks attending the conference, for instance Deutsche Bank, must ensure they do not fund risky investments that threaten the livelihoods and food sovereignty of countless local communities.
    Since 2008 rising financial investments in land have contributed to more than 200 million hectares of land being taken from small farmers, fisherfolk, and other rural communities, robbing them of their means of survival. [3] Land grabbing also frequently involves violent evictions and human rights violations. Institutional investors are expected to increase by 500% their agricultural investment portfolios by 2017.
    Kirtana Chandrasekaran, Friends of the Earth International Food Sovereignty programme co-ordinator, said: “Unfortunately private investment in farmland may be seen by many as low risk and positive for developing countries. Yet they are often a disaster for local communities and the environment. Legal uncertainty and community opposition means that most farmland investments are also risky for investors.”
    “Major investors such as banks and pension funds need to urgently investigate their investment portfolios and stop funding land grabs,” she added.
    Earlier this year Friends of the Earth Europe released the report ‘Farming money: How European banks and private finance profit from food speculation and land grabs’. The report analyses the activities of 29 European banks, pension funds and insurance companies, including Deutsche Bank, Barclays, RBS, Allianz, BNP Paribas, AXA, HSBC, Generali, Unicredit and Credit Agricole. It reveals the significant involvement of these financial institutions in food speculation, and the direct or indirect financing of land grabbing. [4]
    In Liberia, farmland investments have facilitated land grabbing. A quarter of the country – including vast swathes of fertile land- has been handed to palm oil, rubber and logging companies, preventing its use for food production. These large plantations are promoted as a means to create jobs, bring development, and increase the government’s budget. In reality they are jeopardizing the land rights of local populations, threatening local livelihoods and putting the future of one of the world’s most significant biodiversity hotspots into doubt.
    This week in Liberia the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) / Friends of the Earth Liberia is holding a major conference with oil palm plantations-affected communities who are demanding to be heard and consulted.
    Between 2009 and 2010 the government of Liberia allocated more than a million acres of land to transnational palm oil producers Sime Darby and Golden Veroleum Liberia without consulting or securing the consent of those living on and using the land. [5]
    In the past few years, Ethiopia allocated huge areas of fertile arable farmland to foreign investors with little consultations with the affected communities. Since 2008 more than 3.6 million hectares of land has been allocated to foreign investors. For instance, in Gambela region, an Indian company -Karuturi Global- has been allocated staggering 300,000 hectares of land depriving indigenous people of access to water, fishing and grazing grounds, traditional construction materials, and food. Like in many other cases there has been a lack of prior consent and consultation with the local people and affected communities were not consulted and did not give their prior consent these farmland investments.
    “In Ethiopia and elsewhere farmland investments for instance in plantations are jeopardizing the land rights of local people, and threatening local livelihoods ,” said Nyikaw Ochalla from Anywaa Survival Organisation-ASO.
    “In Madagascar, landgrabbing is caused by foreign and domestic investors implementing agribusiness projects and setting up biodiversity conservation areas, but also developing tourism and extractive industry infrastructure” says Mamy Rakotondrainibe, from the Collectif pour la défense des terres malgaches -TANY in Madagascar.
    “We are currently supporting pastoralists communities’ claims against the Italian company Tozzi Green which aims to lease 100 000 hectars in the Ihorombe region to mainly cultivate jatropha for agrofuel production” she adds.
    A report released earlier this year by Friends of the Earth Uganda revealed widespread violations of people’s rights and environmental destruction from a land grab in Uganda. [6]
    Links to other resourcesFriends of the Earth Internationa, land-grab campaign:
    World Bank Refuses to Stop Funding African Land Grabs, October 8, 2012, African Globe. Source:

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