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.
FIAN International participates at the World Social Forum 2015, which takes place this year from 24 to 29 March 2015 in Tunis.
A new Haki Zetu booklet, co-published by FIAN and Amnesty International, on "Land and Human Rights" provides information and guidance on how to defend land rights, monitor land policies and violations, advocate, campaign and seek redress for land-related violations.
FIAN International coordinates a project of investigation seeking to enhance bottom-up accountability in large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) in Sub-Suharan Africa
The Third International Mission on the Right to Food and the situation of Human Rights Defenders was held from 21 November 3 to December 2014 in Guatemala, presenting a number of preliminary findings.
The Parallel Report to the CESCR is titled "Human Rights violations in the context of Kaweri Coffee Plantation in Mubende (Uganda)"
FIAN International and the Uganda Coalition on ESCR present their concerns before the pre-session of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and request the Government of Uganda to take steps towards the full realization of these rights in the country
A new report informs about the human rights violations of communities affected by land grabbing in Mali
A collective statement by civil society and peoples' movements demands the World Bank to stop abusing the right to land and abide by the Tenure Guidelines