Agrarian conflicts and struggles for access to land and natural resources are not new phenomena. However, a global process is currently underway whereby powerful foreign private and public investors conclude agreements with states to take possession or control of large surfaces of land, which has an influence on current and future food sovereignty in the host countries. This process is most commonly referred to as land grabbing.
Several factors contribute to the new rush on land: the increased demand for agrofuels; high food prices, leading states that are dependent on food imports to acquire cheap farmland in poorer countries; and the search for stable investment opportunities in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Investors are typically corporations, financial investors and the governments of rich countries. While precise details are hard to come by, it is estimated that at least 70 million hectares of agricultural land have been transferred in the last few years.
The lack of adequate and secure access to land and natural resources for the rural and urban poor is one of the key causes of hunger and poverty in the world. Land grabbing further exacerbates the highly unequal distribution of land ownership, thereby impacting the enjoyment of the human rights of the local population, particularly their right to adequate food.
FIAN, together with small-scale food producers’ organizations, calls for a stop to and a rolling back of land grabbing and supports the Global Alliance Against Land Grabbing, created by those people most affected. In addition, FIAN promotes the effective implementation of the FAO Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests as an internationally accepted standard of governance of land and natural resources, in order to combat poverty and hunger, and as one instrument to fight against land grabbing.
A caravan by the Global Convergence of Land and Water Struggles – West Africa will go across the region to get the voices of communities heard and engage national authorities in the realization of the right to food and all related rights.
FIAN International, along with a broad alliance of social movements and civil society organizations, denounces the instrumentalization of the 2012-approved Tenure Guidelines and insists that their implementation must be based on the rights and needs of communities.
Weeks before the Nepal Universal Periodic Review kicks off, a tour across Europe will expose the difficulties that Nepalese communities face in their daily lives to realize their right to adequate food.
Civil society calls on Brazil and the EU to support the development of a binding instrument on transnational corporations with respect to human rights and condemns private sector bias in the country.
As levels of malnourishment appear to worsen and land grabbing increases, the land rights expert, Archie Mulunda, will meet the European Commission to discuss the impact of development policies on the Zambian population.
Given the pressing need to strongly defend the right to land as a human right, a "Monitoring Tool based on the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests" has been introduced.
The government of the Philippines should finally complete land distribution and provide essential support services to farmer beneficiaries.
Although the Philippine Government has showed commitment to fast-track the land distribution, the process has yet to be finalized by giving land to all farmer beneficiaries and providing support services.
The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural and Social Rights (CESCR) calls on the State of Uganda to take immediate measures to ensure that the rights of those forcibly evicted from Mubende District are restored.
The event will serve as a platform to share and build knowledge in fighting hunger and in human rights in West Africa.