Media releases

In this section you can find GRAIN media releases.

Over the past few days, Feronia Inc., a Canadian-based company majority-owned by European and US development banks, has been pressuring local communities to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that would endorse the company’s continued operation and expansion of oil palm plantations within their territories. Despite severe pressure and intimidation, the communities have rejected the MOU and are appealing for international support to demand that Feronia respect their decision.

 

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Court rules that Brazilian businessman who sold lands to TIAA-CREF acquired lands illegally

Rede Social de Justiça e Direitos Humanos, GRAIN, Inter Pares, Solidarity Sweden-Latin America, FIAN and National Family Farm Coalition | 20 July 2016 | Media releases

A Brazilian businessman involved in the acquisition of farmland by US, Canadian, German and Swedish pension funds could face criminal charges for land grabbing. The Agrarian Prosecutor for the Court of the Brazilian state of Piauí has issued an order for the cancellation of 124,400 ha of lands illegally acquired by businessman Euclides De Carli. The decision was issued on 5 July 2016, by state prosecutor Francisco Santiago, citing land grabbing (“grilagem”) and the illegal use of lands assigned to agrarian reform. The prosecution is now considering filing criminal charges.

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In 2015, the planet reached “alarming” and “unprecedented” rates of climate change, according to the United Nations—and 2016 is set to be another record-breaking year. Severe droughts, for example, triggered devastating food and water shortages in India, the Pacific and Eastern and Southern Africa. But another factor, notes the organisation GRAIN, is amplifying both climate change and its impacts: the persistent and deepening scourge of land grabbing.

Building on 2008 research that helped put land grabbing in the global spotlight, GRAIN’s new dataset documents nearly 500 current land grab deals across the globe. The cases span 78 countries, around US$94 billion in farmland investments and over 30 million hectares (an area roughly the size of Finland).

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On Friday 3 June, African citizens, organisations and unions will disrupt the shareholder meeting of the Bolloré group at its headquarters in Puteaux, just outside of Paris, France. The protestors represent a movement composed of thousands of farmers who have been displaced from their lands by industrial oil palm and rubber plantations. Since Wednesday, this movement has also been occupying factories and plantations in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone.  

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“SOCFIN shareholders: stop land grabbing!” Citizens demand that SOCFIN respect the rights of local communities

Meng Landwirtschaft, CNCD-11.11.11, ReAct, GRAIN, FIAN Belgium, SOS Faim, AEFJN, Entraide & Fraternité, MAP, Quinoa, CADTM, ADG, Oxfam-Solidarité | 01 June 2016 | Media releases

On Wednesday 1 June at 10:00 CET, citizens and representatives of Belgian, French and Luxembourgish organisations are calling out to the shareholders of SOCFIN, a Belgian-Luxembourgish group, during their annual meeting. They have carried out a protest action in solidarity with communities in Africa and Asia affected by the agroindustrial company’s land grabs. After several attempts to reach out to the company’s management, the groups and citizens are now calling on the company’s shareholders to respect the fundamental rights, including land rights, of the local communities. Similar actions have also been held  by the communities in several of the group’s plantations.

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One year after their arrest on 15 March 2015, three food, land, and human rights defenders continue to languish in an Ethiopian jail. After several court hearings, the prosecution has yet to present any evidence to support the spurious charge of “terrorism” under Ethiopia’s controversial counterterrorism law. A 1 March hearing was once again adjourned and rescheduled for 15 March, due to the failure of witnesses to appear in court. 

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Just when the biotech companies that make transgenic seeds are merging, the corporate vision of biotechnology is showing up at FAO. At today’s opening of the three-day international symposium on agricultural biotechnologies convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, more than 100 organisations have issued a statement denouncing both the substance and structure of the meeting, which appears to be another attempt by multinational agribusiness to redirect the policies of the UN agency toward support for GMOs.

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A day before the start of yet another trial brought by the Bolloré Group against French journalists, organisations denounce the imprisonment on February 5th of six local community leaders affected by the investments of Socfin Agricultural Company Sierra Leone Ltd (SAC), a subsidiary of Socfin, linked to Bolloré.

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A petition denouncing the unjust imprisonment of three Ethiopian human rights defenders and calling on the Ethiopian government to drop all charges against them immediately, is being presented this week to the Ethiopian government as well as its financial backers—governments of the US, Canada, UK, Germany, Switzerland and the World Bank, which provide a significant amount of international aid to Ethiopia. The petition is signed by 1,229 people from 70 countries.

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Join us in Paris for a book launch and evening with GRAIN on 7 December 2015

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