From 21-25 November 2016, about 50 people, involved in struggles to defend the territories, forests and livelihoods of forest-dependent communities, came together in Thailand for a field visit to the Northeast of the country, followed by a 3-days meeting in Bangkok. Besides a delegation from Thailand, other participants came from Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and India. The aims of the gathering, which focused on the central question of What´s happening to our forests?, included promoting exchange and dialogue on old and new threats and challenges faced by communities in the different countries.
Until his arrest earlier this year, one of the biggest forest destroyers in the history of the Amazon oversaw a large and sophisticated criminal network from his base in Sao Paulo’s upper class neighbourhood of Jardins. Wiretaps and field investigations by federal agents have exposed a sprawling operation making millions from agriculture, facilitated by hacking, satellite analysis and slave labour. This piece draws extensively on a profile of the case in Brazilian non-profit environmental news site ((o))eco.
This report is both a travel story and analysis of the “Italian system” in Ethiopia. It is also an exploration of increased repression carried out by the Addis Ababa government against any form of dissent, and the impact of its development policies, which are interwoven with infrastructure projects often characterised by strong Italian interests. Such is the case of dams in the Omo Valley, a place where we were prevented to go.
During a public event held in Paris in December 2015 at the time of the COP21, representatives of frontline communities discussed and denounced the false solutions to the climate crisis, and promoted the real solutions that are rooted in peoples’ knowledge and experiences. They stressed how converging provides hope, opportunities and solidarity and, importantly, advances the struggle for systemic change. The purpose of this report is to amplify the voices of frontline communities and to share the political messages of the 16 social movement leaders – who spoke at the meeting – with the masses who form the base of social movements all over the world. The report is meant to trigger deepened political consciousness and to support mass based movements in their resistance against the privatization agendas promoted by the political and economic elites.
The United Nations Committee on Food Security (CFS), adopted a set of recommendations at its annual meeting in Rome this week that emphasize the need to address the impacts of unsustainable meat and dairy production on deforestation, land grabbing and food security.
Behind the vast yellow maize hills spreading out onto the horizon of Son La province in northwestern Vietnam lies tragedy for tens of thousands of small farmers. Once self-sufficient rice producers, the ethnic minority Xinh Mun people were convinced to trade in their rice crop for hybrid maize, a shift that created growing debt and deep sadness as many lost their lands as a result.
On Friday, the EU and German government announced the agreement of providing the Government of Ethiopia with 3.8 million euro for a project to facilitate large-scale commercial land deals amid wide spread human rights abuses and brutal repression of its opponents.
Tanzania’s Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor, a huge farm production project that lies across the country’s southern highlands, seems to represent incisive thinking about Africa’s potential to produce jobs and feed the world. The $US 3.4 billion project envisions improving the capacity of 100,000 small Tanzanian farms to produce and market more of their grain, vegetables, dairy, and meat products. Keith Schneider of "Circle of Blue" provides an analysis that references GRAIN's latest land grabbing report and database.
In 2010, more than 1,500 families in Kampong Speu’s Oral district were evicted from the land they had cultivated since the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979 to make way for a Phnom Penh Sugar Company mega-plantation. After years of campaigning, many of those families in recent weeks accepted compensation packages from the company, owned by Ly Yong Phat, a ruling party senator. However, recipients, community leaders and NGOs have since raised concerns that the company obtained the settlement agreements through bullying and coercion.
On 1 and 3 June, protestors occupied the headquarters of Socfin (Luxembourg) and Bolloré (Paris) demanding that the two companies respect the rights of local communities. Socfin and Bolloré have agricultural investments in several countries in Asia and Africa, primarily for oil palm plantations. See an overview of the days' mobilisations, which were live-tweeted by GRAIN and others.