Posts tagged land grabbing
(Rome, May 10th, 2012) This week, the United Nations Committee on World Food Security is convening for a special session to formally adopt the recently concluded Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the context of National Food Security. These new guidelines could prove to be one small but important step towards reforming the policies at the root cause of the food crisis.
The practise of land grabbing is currently displacing millions of peasants and small-scale producers around the world. Land grabbing is causing massive violations of human rights, whilst destroying land, society, environment and food sovereignty.
Even in the past few weeks, farmers have been violently evicted from their land in countries such as Mali, Honduras and Spain. Every week bears witness to new cases of evictions and violence against rural communities due to the rising value of agricultural land.
Small-scale producers play a critical role in feeding the world’s population and it is imperative that national policies prioritise their secure access to and control over productive resources. The Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Land, Fisheries and Forests should be used first and foremost as a tool for protecting the tenure rights of small-scale food producer groups.
Today, over 400 million small-scale food producers are suffering from hunger and malnutrition caused by over half a century of ill-conceived land and rural development policies. La Via Campesina, the global movement that brings together millions of peasants, landless people, women farmers, indigenous people and agricultural workers from around the world, calls upon states to reform current land policies that are exacerbating hunger, and opening the door to land grabbing around the world.
In April the World Bank is again organising its annual conference on land and poverty
It is a big event for international bureaucracy, government representatives, mainstream academics, a few big NGOs and the private sector. Under the heading of Land Governance they will discuss issues such as how to deal with the governance challenges raised by large agricultural investments – in other words how to continue the appropriation of peoples’ lands and waters by private investors while pretending to help the poor.
Also in April the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will hold a consultation process about the best use of natural resources for boosting living standards in developing countries. The IMF seeks to reassess its policy advice on the use of natural resources in development due to the growing importance of natural resources in many economies. Despite disastrous consequences the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) continue to exercise a de facto ruling role in the international governance of land, territories and natural resources in Third World countries. This role is profoundly illegitimate, which is now starting to be challenged
Last 9 of March, the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) completed the intergovernmental negotiations of the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on the Tenure of Land Fisheries and Forests in the context of National Food Security. With the successful completion of these negotiations after a participatory process lasting nearly three years, the CFS has shown that it has the capacity to convene multilateral negotiations with broad social participation to discuss and propose solutions to one of the most pressing problems of our time.
The Guidelines contain valuable points that will provide backing for organisations struggling to ensure the care and use of natural resources for producing more nourishing food, helping to eliminate hunger. The CFS is a new international space with more democratic rules that allows people’s organisations to challenge the IFIs’ self-interested rulings. An important step in the democratising of decision making related to food and agriculture at the international level.