Showing results for: Land rights
This book chapter questions the validity of viewing food primarily as a tradable commodity, noting that doing so encouraging policies based on markets, corporate profit and the private enclosure of resources that were previously freely available to all. The authors propose, instead, that food should be viewed as a commons, i.e. a shared resource.
The Scottish Land Commission (a public body set up by the Scottish Government) reports that highly concentrated land ownership in some parts of Scotland hampers economic development and can be harmful to local communities.
Bolsonaro, the new far-right president of Brazil, has given the Agriculture Ministry responsibility for “identification, delimitation, demarcation and registration of lands traditionally occupied by indigenous people”, according to Reuters. Environmentalists are concerned that the Amazon rainforest will be opened to greater commercial exploitation.
This paper describes eight examples where open-access property regimes do not lead to the well-known “tragedy of the commons” - i.e. overexploitation of the public resource - and outlines conditions that contribute to sustainable use of common-pool resources.
The report “Missing pathways to 1.5°C: The role of the land sector in ambitious climate action”, by the Climate Land Ambition and Rights Alliance, assesses greenhouse gas mitigation pathways that use “low-risk” land-based solutions that protect natural ecosystems and respect human rights. The report aims to provide an alternative to the IPCC’s mitigation pathways, many of which rely on mitigation approaches such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).
US media organisation NPR discusses the tensions between housing developers and people who use vacant city plots for food production. Around 15% of land in US cities is classed as “vacant”. Urban farms on vacant land can be an important source of fresh food in some low-income neighbourhoods, but this can clash with the need for more housing. New York City council has passed an urban agriculture bill in an attempt to give urban farmers some control over how land is used.
In a feature in Civil Eats, agricultural attorney Jillian Hishaw describes some of the difficulties that black farmers have faced in the US, including systematic denial of loans, exclusion from disaster payments, and lack of official paperwork for land that was passed on from slave owners. Hishaw founded the Family Agriculture Resource Management Services (FARMS) to help farmers who are black or from other historically disadvantaged groups to keep their land.
This report written by Andreas Wilkes and Lanying Zhang for the International Institute for Environment and development (IIED) provides an overview of issues in sustainable agriculture in China, the country’s evolution to a modern, high-external input agriculture and the sustainability implications of this development. The report also looks into issues such as land tenure reforms and roles of cooperatives.
Our global food system is undergoing rapid change. Since the global food crisis of 2007-2008, a range of new issues have come to public attention, such as land grabbing, food prices volatility, agrofuels and climate change. Peasant social movements are trying to respond to these challenges by organizing from the local to the global to demand food sovereignty.
Forest Peoples Programme, Sawit Watch and TUK Indonesia has produced this report on the large-scale expansion of oil palm plantations across Southeast Asia and Africa and their environmental and social impacts. The report questions the effectiveness of RSPO standards (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil). These standards in theory encourage oil palm expansion in ways that do not destroy high conservation values or cause social conflict. They also require member companies to respect the collective right of indigenous peoples and other local communities to give or withhold their consent prior to the development of oil palm on the lands they own, inhabit and use.
At the University of Gothenburg in Sweden a new Land Rights Research Initiative (LARRI) was launched in late 2012. The research initiative aims at creating a platform for discussion, exchange of ideas and information as well as for promoting collaboration among researchers, students and other actors interested in land rights issues from a poverty and development perspective in a context of global change.
José Graziano da Silva, the FAO's director general, has compared the land grab deals in Africa to the “wild west,” saying a "sheriff" is needed to restore the rule of law. Large land deals have accelerated since the surge in food prices in 2007-08, prompting companies and sovereign wealth funds to take steps to guarantee food supplies.
This study of large land acquisitions in developing countries published by the International Land Coalition (ILC) finds more evidence of harm than benefits. More than 40 organisations collaborated on the Global Commercial Pressures on Land Research Project, which synthesised 27 case studies, thematic studies and regional overviews. The report also includes the latest data from the ongoing Land Matrix project to monitor large-scale land transactions, and covers a full decade of land deals from 2000-2010. Those deals amount to more than 200 million hectares of land – or eight times the size of the United Kingdom.