land grabs

The Hunger Grains: new research shows EU biofuel policies drive food prices and land grabs

admin - September 17, 2012

Oxfam economic policy adviser Ruth Kelly (right) unveils her new paper, published today, on a really simple, bad policy that rich countries can fix – biofuels. The past five years have seen two record spikes in the price of food; and prices are rising again, with corn and soy hitting record highs in summer 2012. There is intense disagreement about what causes food price spikes …

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Cambodia: community forestry v land grabs is more complicated than I thought

admin - November 11, 2011

An edited version of this post appeared on the Guardian Poverty Matters blog yesterday Last week in Cambodia, some questions on forestry and development came into sharp relief. I visited a region where Oxfam’s local partners are helping local indigenous people develop community forestry and resist the encroachment of foreign companies (as well as Cambodian ones, and the odd party or army boss) intent on …

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The latest (big) numbers on land grabs, and some powerful case studies

admin - September 22, 2011

Oxfam adds its voice to the growing clamour about land grabs with two new reports out today. Land and Power: The Growing Scandal Surrounding the New Wave of Investments in Land pulls together some fascinating (and sometimes shocking) case studies from South Sudan, Uganda, Indonesia, Honduras and Guatemala, and adds up some big new global numbers. The New Forests Company and its Uganda Plantations goes …

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Maasai v investors in Ngorongoro, Tanzania: guest post by Jane Lonsdale

admin - July 28, 2011

Ngorongoro district in Tanzania, home to the famous Ngorongoro crater and bordering the Serengeti national park, must surely be one of the most beautiful landscapes on earth. Maybe this explains its hotly contested land disputes.  Everyone seems to want a piece of it, but those in danger of being left without are the indigenous Maasai tribe, often used as a lucrative Tanzanian tourism symbol. For …

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Land grabs update: (a lot) more hectares than we thought, and definitely bad for development

admin - May 10, 2011

This week’s Economist has an excellent update on the recent spate of ‘land grabs’. It argues that the balance of evidence against them as a development tool has shifted decisively (and negatively) over the last couple of years. The overall conclusion is damning: ‘When land deals were first proposed, they were said to offer the host countries four main benefits: more jobs, new technology, better …

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Land grabs: what's in the contracts? And an Indian land grab in Ethiopia

admin - March 22, 2011

One of the problems with so-called ‘land grabs’ is secrecy. Most of the contracts that seal such deals are hidden from public scrutiny, which makes it very hard to establish what is really going on. The International Institute for Environment and Development, which is rapidly becoming the ‘go to’ thinktank on a whole range of resource and development issues, has managed to dig up 12 …

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A good new update on land grabs

admin - August 12, 2009

Two very good summaries of the state of play on the spate of ‘land grabs’ which came to prominence last year with Daewoo’s attempts to acquire half of Madagascar (for free) on a 99 year lease (see previous overview and Daewoo blogs ). A July paper from the International Land Coalition argues that the problem goes beyond food: ‘not only food, but also fuel, fibre, …

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What's different about the current spate of land grabs in poor countries?

admin - May 27, 2009

This week’s Economist has an excellent overview of the issues surrounding what it calls ‘outsourcing’s third wave’ (the first two were manufacturing and services) – deals in which foreign investors are buying up huge tracts of land in poor countries to produce food to ship back home (see map). Some highlights: Saudi investors are spending $100m to lease land from the Ethiopian government to produce wheat, …

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