A Tree for a Fish: The (il)logic Behind Selling Biodiversity Joanna Cabello & Tamra Gilbertson, Carbon Trade Watch -- Dec 2014 "Offsets impose a hegemonic view on how to perceive the world. A world where nature, biodiversity, forests, and rivers, can be separated, and quantified into homogenous units that can be ‘re-created’, ‘replaced’, ‘moved’ or ‘restored’ according to economic and cost related ‘values’. In this world, extractive industries, large scale infrastructure and monoculture tree plantations can continue their social, environmental and climatic destruction while selling themselves as ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’."
Biodiversity Offsets: Open letter to Janez Potočnik, EU Commissioner for the Environment, about biodiversity offsetting -- 17 Oct 2014 "This letter is from a group of concerned organisations and individuals who believe that legislation on biodiversity offsetting being considered by the European Commission would harm nature and people, and would give power to those who destroy nature for private profit. The signatories ask for all plans on offsetting to be dropped."
Biopiracy of Biodiversity: Global Exchange as Enclosure Andrew Mushita and Carol Thompson, African World Press -- 2007
Brazil: Study Released on 30 Years of Land Conflicts Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns -- May-June 2015 NewsNotes "The Brazilian Catholic Church’s Pastoral Land Commission (CPT) recently released a study of 30 years of conflicts in Brazil over access to land, water and worker rights. It found an overall decrease in clashes over the past 10 years due to decreasing poverty rates thanks to an increased minimum wage and other programs like the Bolsa Familia that provide support to low income families. Despite this good news, the study also notes that Brazil, which holds 12 percent of the world’s fresh water, has seen a growth in the number of conflicts over water, especially in urban areas."
Carbon Offsets Cause Conflict and Colonialism: Indigenous Peoples Denounce at United Nations; Demand Cancellation of REDD+ Indigenous Environmental Network -- 18 May 2016 “The sacred air we breathe is being sold to the highest bidder. We implore the UN to have compassion for humanity and Mother Earth by immediately canceling carbon trading, carbon offsets, and REDD+ projects in or near Indigenous Peoples’ lands and territories”
Common Ground: Securing Land Rights and Safeguarding the Earth Fred Pearce, Land Rights Now: A Global Call to Action on Indigenous and Community Land Rights -- Mar 2016 "This report launches a Global Call to Action on Indigenous and Community Land Rights, backed by more than 300 organizations all over the world. It is a manifesto of solidarity with the ongoing struggles of indigenous peoples and local communities seeking to secure their land rights once and for all."
Corporatising Agriculture: World Bank Rankings Facilitate Land Grabs [Article] Alice Martin-Prével, Bretton Woods Project -- 09 May 2014 "The World Bank’s 'Doing Business' rankings ... score countries according to the ease of doing business. More than ten years after its launch, evidence shows that the index’s push for liberal reforms, creation of land markets, adoption of investor-friendly regulations, and suppression of trade barriers has provided the intellectual and structural framework that facilitates the trend of large-scale land grabs in developing countries. "
Dakar Declaration Against Water and Land Grabbing Africa Socal Forum -- 18 Oct 2014 "We, civil society organizations engaged in the defense of the rights to land and water, we gathered in Dakar in the framework of the Africa Social Forum fighting and protesting against natural resources grabbing, namely water and land grabbing, and against the systematic violations of the human rights that accompany them."
Deadly Environment: The Rise in Killings of Environmental and Land Defenders Global Witness -- 2014 "This report looks at known killings of people defending environmental and land rights. It identifies a clear rise in such deaths from 2002 and 2013 as competition for natural resources intensifies. In the most comprehensive global analysis of the problem on record, we have found that at least 908 people have died in this time." "25 years after the assassination of forest activist Chico Mendes, Brazil is the most dangerous place to be an environmental and land defender."
Dealing with Disclosure: Improving Transparency in Decision-Making over Large-Scale Land Acquisitions, Allocations, and Investments International Land Coalition The Oakland Institute Global Witness -- Apr 2012
Declaration on Land Grabbing & Just Governance in Africa Limuru, Kenya -- 22-25 Nov 2015 "We recognize that land grabbing – as well as the structural issues that are tied to it – and just governance commit us to walk together from grassroots to global level. From an African perspective land is something sacred and we believe that an important part of any future success in our fight against land grabbing lies in our ability to build deep connections with our land."
Dossier: New Economy of Nature Heinrich Böll Stiftung-The Green Policitcal Foundation -- 2016 "The call for an economic valuation of nature is linked to the demand for a more flexible implementation of environmental laws and regulations. This approach particularly benefits sectors with business models that require the exploitation of nature."
Down on the Farm Lukas Ross, The Oakland Institute -- 2014 "Driven by everything from rising food prices to growing demand for biofuel, the financial sector is taking an interest in farmland as never before. As the Oakland Institute reported in 2012, a new generation of institutional investors--including hedge funds, private equity, pension funds, and university endowments—is eager to capitalize on global farmland as a new and highly desirable asset class."
Durban Declaration on REDD 2015 Durban, South Africa - 09 Sep 2015 "We are united to oppose and reject the commodification, privatisation and plunder of Nature, which include REDD+ and other market-based mechanisms including biodiversity and conservation offsets that put profit above the well being of humanity and the planet."
End of Mission Statement by UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Brazil [Portuguese Version] Victoria Tauli Corpuz -- 17 Mar 2016 “A constant refrain from all the indigenous peoples I visited and met was the urgent need for demarcation processes to be completed, as this is fundamental to all other rights of indigenous peoples. The urgency to demarcate these territories is exacerbated by the rate of deforestation, destruction of rivers, and depletion of soil quality due to intensive mono-cropping and mining activities, rendering the land and waters incapable of supporting indigenous people’ food sustainability into the future. “
Every Day Should Be International Day of Peasants' Struggles Adrian Bebb and Ramona Duminicioiu, euobserver -- 18 Apr 2016 "The 20th anniversary of the International Day of Peasants’ and Farmers’ Struggle was marked on 17 Apr 2016 – a date that highlights the persecution and violence suffered by peasants and farmers around the world."
Feeding the 1 Percent: An IT Billionaire's Foray into Agribusiness Paints a Disturbing Picture of Today's Farm Land Financiers GRAIN -- Sep 2014 "Since the global food crisis of 2008, there has been a massive wave of private sector investment in agriculture. The G8, the World Bank and corporate investors say more money flowing into agriculture means innovation, jobs and more food for a hungry planet. But examining the investments made by one of the most active private sector players in the global rush to acquire farmland – Indian billionaire Chinnakannan Sivasankaran – a worrying picture emerges."
Food Crisis and the Global Land Grab: Governments and Corporations are Buying up Farmland in Other Countries to Grow Their Own Food - or Simply to Make Money GRAIN - A Collection of Solid Resources on the Topic -- 2013
Grow-ing disaster: the Fortune 500 goes farming GRAIN -- 15 Dec 2016 "While claiming to promote food security and benefit small farmers, Grow's focus on a small number of high-value commodities exposes the programme’s real objective: to expand production of a handful of commodities to profit a handful of corporations."
Harvest of Hardship: Yala Swamp Land Grap Destroys Kenyan Farmers' Livelihoods GRAIN -- 23 Oct 2014 "Dominion Farms arrived in Kenya's Yala Swamp basin in 2004 with big promises. The company claimed it would turn a defunct state demonstration farm into a modern rice plantation, provide locals with good jobs, and build hospitals and schools ... But a decade later, the communities have harvested nothing but hardship."
Honey At the Top [Film] Film by Dean Puckett, run-time 57:26 -- June 2015 “HONEY AT THE TOPis a film about the Sengwer forest people of the Cherangani Hills, Kenya, being evicted from their ancestral land in the name of conservation. Facing international pressure from organisations like the World Bank, a corrupt Kenya Forest Service who are burning their houses, and attempts to turn the forest into a commodity through carbon offsetting schemes, the Sengwer fight to hold onto their culture and resist the evictions.”
Hungry for Land: Small Farmers Feed the World with Less than a Quarter of All Farmland GRAIN -- May 2014 "It is commonly heard today that small farmers produce most of the world's food. But how many of us realise that they are doing this with less than a quarter of the world's farmland, and that even this meagre share is shrinking fast?"
Land and Seed Laws Under Attack: Who is Pushing Changes in Africa [Report] Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), GRAIN -- 21 Jan 2015 Portuguese Version "The 50 million people that the G8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition claims to be lifting out of poverty will only be allowed to escape poverty and hunger if they abandon their traditional rights and practices and buy their life saving seeds every year from the corporations lined up behind the G8." – Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement, member of AFSA, September 2014
Land Ceilings: Reigning in Land Grabbers or Dumbing Down the Debate GRAIN -- Feb 2013
Land Grabbers of the Nacala Corridor (Portuguese Version) Mozambique National Farmers' Union (UNAC), GRAIN -- Feb 2015 "This report looks at the companies already setting up agribusiness operations in the Nacala Corridor, an area that the government has prioritised for agribusiness development. These companies, typically structured through offshore tax havens and often connected to Mozambican political elites, have been grabbing lands and extracting wealth in ways reminiscent of the country's colonial days."
Licensed to Grab: How International Investment Rules Undermine Agrarian Justice Pietje Vervest and Timothé Feodoroff, Transnational Institute -- Jan 2015 "The investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clause present in many trade treaties give investors far-reaching protection, curtailing governments’ ability to regulate for progressive agrarian and agricultural policies and reinforcing the notion of land as a commodity."
Make Money, Save Forest: Part 1 [Video - English sub-titles] Antonio Aldo "Tony" Papaleo, Investigative Journalist -- 2014
Missing the Poorest for the Trees: REDD+ and the Link Between Forestry, Resilience and Peacebuilding, Tobias F. Dorr, Adriaan B. Heskamp, Ian B. Madison, Katherine D. Reichel, London School of Economics and International Alert -- June 2013
My Home, My Land: A Graphic Novel on Land Grabs Oakland Institute -- 2015 "... this publication dismantles the many myths promoted by so-called donor countries, development agencies, and corporations about the positive effects of foreign direct investments through large-scale land acquisitions."
Nature Not For Sale [Website] Challenging Biodiversity Offsetting and the Financialisation of Nature See Also Open letter to Commissioner Potočnik about biodiversity offsetting (below)
Nature is Not For Sale: The Dangers of Commodifying Our Natural World Friends of the Earth Europe -- June 2014 "If the value of nature is expressed in purely monetary terms there is a high risk that nature can then be legitimately destroyed as long as a payment is made, often with a promise that nature will be protected or created elsewhere through offsetting schemes. In short, a monetary value can be all too easily transformed into a price."
New Alliance, New Risk of Land Grabs: Evidence from Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania Mark Curtis, ActionAid International -- May 2015 "Ten African countries have signed up to the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition – the G8 countries’ main strategy for supporting agriculture in Africa that was launched in 2012 .... This briefing ... shows that some large companies involved in the New Alliance are already accused of taking part in land grabs in some countries. It also presents new research to argue that the initiative is further increasing the risk of rural communities losing their access to and control over land to large investors, largely through policy commitments on land titling and land reform."
No REDD in Africa Network [Website] "This website aims to publish information on REDD and REDD type projects in Africa as well as promote serious discussion on the issues related to REDD and Carbon market with focus in Africa. The website is run by the NO REDD in Africa Network (NRAN) a collective of African Organizations and individuals that oppose REDD and see it as false solution to Climate Change."
On Our Land: Land Grabs in Papua New Guinea [Video] Anuradha Mittal, Executive Producer -- 2013
Open Letter to Commissioner Potočnik About Biodiversity Offsetting Letter to the European Commission -- 17 Oct 2014 "Letter from a group of concerned organisations and individuals who believe that legislation on biodiversity offsetting being considered by the European Commission would harm nature and people, and would give power to those who destroy nature for private profit."
Opening Pandora's Box: The New Wave of Land Grabbing by the Extractive Industries and the Devastating Impact on Earth Philippe Sibaud, Commissioned by the Gaia Foundation -- 2012
Our Land is Worth More Than Carbon Global Forest Coalition -- 15 Nov 2016 "Farming land cannot become an accounting tool for managing the climate crisis. It is fundamental to around a billion people in the world who are working towards food sovereignty, an inalienable right of people who have already been harmed enough."
Planet for Sale: Food Crisis and the Global Land Grab [Documentary] Alexis Marant, produced by CAPA PRESSE TV, Distributed by ARTE -- May 2011 50 minute version of the full 90 minute French Documentary
Planet Palm Oil: Peasants Pay the Price for Cheap Vegetable Oil GRAIN -- Sep 2014 "Producing cheap palm oil comes at a high price: destruction of rainforests, labour exploitation, and brutal land grabbing. With lands in Indonesia and Malaysia becoming more difficult for palm oil companies to acquire, attention is shifting to Africa as a new frontier for low cost palm oil production for export."
PLANT Report: Current Risks to Amazonian Traditional Peoples PLANT (Partners for the Land & Agricultural Needs of Traditional Peoples) -- Mar 2012
Position Statement on the Threat from Industrial Oil Palm Expansion to Equitorial Forests in Africa Stephen M. Awoyemi, Martin Nganje, Beth A. Kaplin and Dhaval Vyas, Society for Conservation Biology -- Jan 2015 "The purpose of this SCB position statement is to ... highlight the rapid and unsustainable destruction of forests due to industrial oil palm expansion in West and Central Africa, and the role of oil palm expansion in the attrition of biodiversity including flagship species such as apes, as well as associated human health and economic implications. This is a call on African governments, policy makers and societies to formulate effective policies that support ecological sustainability of African equatorial forests."
Protected Areas in the Congo Basin: Failing Both People and Biodiversity? Aili Pyhälä, Ana Osuna Orozco, Simon Counsell, Rainforest Foundation UK -- Apr 2016 "Forests and communities in this region face enormous threats, notably from destructive development models which often squander natural resources while having severe negative impacts on local populations. These threats are escalating ..."
REDD in Brazil: Two Case Studies on Early Forest Carbon Offset Projects Jutta Kill, Heinrich Böll Foundation Brazil -- 2014 "In many places where forest carbon projects are implemented, traditional forest use has been blamed for forest loss while the drivers of large-scale deforestation remain unaddressed – and deforestation and the emissions associated with it continue."
REDD+ in Central America: It's Better to Ask for Forgiveness than Permission Henry Picando, Kioscos Ambientales, Mariana, World Rainforest Movement -- 21 Oct 2016 "REDD+ proposals deepen the privatization of forests and territories, since they consider the only value of forests to be their capacity to absorb carbon, which can then be appropriated by private actors or those external to forests ... REDD+ increases violence towards collective land ownership, the forests of Central American communities, and the right to consultation and self-determination of peoples."
REDD-Monitor[Website] Analyzes and critiques the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) mechanism that has been under negotiation by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since 2005. [Note: The now commonly used term REDD +"goes beyond deforestation and forest degradation, and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks"] See UN-REDD Programme.
Rio de Janeiro Green Exchange (BVRio): Trading Away Brazil's Forests Chris Lang, Redd Monitor -- 07 May 2015 "The Rio de Janeiro Green Exchange (Bolsa Verde do Rio de Janeiro, BVRio) is a market for trading “environmental assets”, including carbon credits, forest credits, industrial effluent credits, tire disposal credits, and recycling credits."
Rio Tinto's Biodiversity Offset in Madascar: Double Landgrab in the Name of Biodiversity? [French Version] Jutta Kill and Giulia Franchi, World Rainforest Movement and Re:Common -- Mar 2016 "Communities that were struggling already before are now facing an increased risk of hunger and deprivation as a direct result of a biodiversity offset benefiting one of the world’s largest mining corporations. Rio Tinto claims that the ilmenite mine has come “at the rescue of the unique biodiversity of the littoral zone of Fort Dauphin”. This is despite the fact that a large portion of the 1,650 hectares of a rare littoral forest inside the mining concession will be destroyed during mining."
Sacred Voices: What Our Sacred Natural Sites Mean to Us [Video] The GAIA Foundation and the African Biodiversity Network -- 2012
Seeds of Discontent (Video) Geoff Arbourne, Duckin' & Divin' Films, Transnational Institute -- Oct 2013
Soy Story: Factory Farming, Land Grabs and the Destruction of Argentina [Video] The world’s reliance on soy to feed factory farmed animals is having a devastating impact. In Argentina, ’Big Soy’ production is ruining lands and lives. 12:14 minutes Compassion in World Farming -- 2013
Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply Vandana Shiva, South End Press -- 2000
Take Action: Stop EcoEnergy's Land Grab in Bagamoyo, Tanzania Mark Curtis & Richard Mbunda, ActionAid International -- 18 Mar 2015 Rural communities in the Bagamoyo district of Tanzania are opposing a much-lauded sugar cane plantation project planned by EcoEnergy, a Swedish-owned company that has secured a lease of over 20,000 hectares of land for the next 99 years and which is about to push smallholder producers off their land.
Territories of Life: A Video Toolkit for Indigenous Peoples about Land and Rights LifeMosaic, Supporting Indigenous Peoples to Defend Their Rights, Edinburgh, Scotland -- 2015 "LifeMosaic produces and co-ordinates the distribution of educational resources for indigenous peoples. Resources are primarily based on community testimonies; they present complex issues in an accessible and engaging way; and support indigenous peoples right to free, prior and informed consent."
The Darker Side of Green: Plantation Forestry and Carbon Violence in Uganda Assoc. Prof. Kristen Lyons, Dr. Carol Richards and Dr. Peter Westoby, published by the Oakland Institute -- Nov 2014 This report "debunks popular claims that carbon trading represents a 'win-win' for rural communities and the environment ... Firsthand accounts from Uganda reveal that villagers living in and around land concessions acquired by Green Resources, a Norwegian company implementing forestry-based carbon offset projects, have experienced forced evictions and restricted access to land and food, in addition to loss of livelihood—all in the name of green investment.
Transnational Institute Agrarian Justice Programme -- Feb 2013 "A better way to start to understand land grabbing is through the lens of political economy. From this perspective, land grabbing is essentially control grabbing. It refers to the capturing of power to control land and other associated resources like water, minerals or forests, in order to control the benefits of its use .... land grabbing is inherently political, since what is at stake is the power to decide how and for what purposes the land and water can be used now and in the future. From this perspective, land grabs that are made more transparent are, in the end, still land grabs."
The Great Food Robbery: How Corporations Control Food, Grab Land and Destroy the Climate GRAIN, Fahamu Books & Pambazuka Press -- 2012
The Great Land Grab: Rush for World's Farmland Threatens Food Security for the Poor Shepard Daniel with Anuradha Mittal, The Oakland Institute -- 2009
The Great Land Heist: How the World is Paving the Way for Corporate Land Grabs Julian Oram, ActionAid International -- May 2014 "In many of the world’s poorest countries, vast tracts of land are being sold or leased under long-term deals to domestic and multinational companies and foreign governments looking to secure farmland for commercial agriculture, timber, energy or mining projects, or simply as an asset ... these land deals are characterised by lack of transparency, consultation and adverse human rights effects. In many instances these deals are happening with the backing of governments, international agencies and multilateral financial institutions."
The Great REDD Gamble: Time to Ditch Risky REDD for Community-Based Approaches that are Effective, Ethical and Equitable Ronnie Hall, Friends of the Earth International -- Oct 2014 "Now that various REDD readiness and REDD projects have been underway for some time, we can see that ... REDD is a risky and false solution to climate change, both in theory and in practice."
Willful Blindness: World Bank's Country Rankings Impoverish Smallholder Farmers Alice Martin-Prével, the Oakland Institute -- 2014 "In 2013, the World Bank launched the Benchmarking the Business of agriculture (BBa indicator) ... private agribusiness investors appear to be the core beneficiaries of the project, which again underlies a push for neoliberal land policy and further deregulation of the agricultural sector. The BBa ... is another tool for fostering economic deregulation to benefit corporate interests at the expense of the citizens of developing countries." (See "Our Land, Our Business" above)
World Bank Paving the Way for a National Biodiversity Offset Strategy in Liberia Jutta Kill, World Rainforest Movement (included in Bulletin 213) -- 06 May 2015 "In March 2015, the World Bank presented a report that will help mining companies operating in Liberia present themselves as saviours of biodiversity even though their operations will continue to destroy some of the country’s most biodiverse forests."