Category: Land Rights
Institutions including Harvard and Vanderbilt reportedly use hedge funds to buy land in deals that may force farmers out.
Harvard and other major American universities are working through British hedge funds and European financial speculators to buy or lease vast areas of African farmland in deals, some of which may force many thousands of people off their land, according to a new study.
Say NO to the principles of “responsible” agro-enterprise investment promoted by the World Bank
State and private investors, from Citadel Capital to Goldman Sachs, are leasing or buying up tens of millions of hectares of farmlands in Asia, Africa and Latin America for food and fuel production. This land grabbing is a serious threat for the food sovereignty of our peoples and the right to food of our rural communities.
In response to this new wave of land grabbing, the World Bank (WB) is promoting a set of seven principles to guide such investments and make them successful. The FAO, IFAD and UNCTAD have agreed to join the WB in collectively pushing these principles. Their starting point is the fact that the current rush of private sector interest to buy up farmland is risky. After all, the WB has just finalised a study showing the magnitude of this trend and its central focus on transferring rights over agricultural land in developing countries to foreign investors. Continue reading 'Stop Land Grabbing Now!'»
India’s National Human Rights Commission has written to the Orissa government demanding a full report into its joint venture mining project with British mining giant Vedanta Resources, following a complaint submitted by UK-based Survival International.
The complaint relates to Vedanta’s plan to mine for bauxite in the Niyamgiri Hills, eastern Orissa, which threatens the fragile ecology and very survival of Dongria Kondh tribals, who consider the hills to be sacred. The tribes and international organisations have been protesting against the mine for many months.
Survival’s complaint exposes the ways that the Dongria Kondh’s human rights, including their religious freedoms, would be violated if their most sacred site is desecrated by the mine.
The future of the mining project has been thrown into doubt following statements from India’s Minister for the Environment that, had current laws to protect tribal peoples’ rights in India been in place when Vedanta applied to mine the Dongrias’ mountain, ‘the chances are that this project would not have been cleared.’ Vedanta is majority-owned by Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal.
The minister stated that the project has not got full approval and that Vedanta would be prosecuted if they tried to start mining without full clearance. Although mining has not begun, Vedanta is trying to build access roads and conveyor belts. However, strong resistance from the Dongria Kondh is stalling the company’s progress.