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Land Grabs Violate Resource Rights

April 2010


Our partners in Brazil, Mozambique and other developing countries all tell us the same story: Transnational corporations and private investors are grabbing large tracts of fertile land and displacing viable rural communities of small scale farmers. Since 2008, Grassroots International’s ally GRAIN has extensively researched and documented this disturbing trend. Their 2008 report Seized! The 2008 land grab for food and financial security states, “The two big global crises that have erupted over the last 15 months – the world food crisis and the broader financial crisis that the food crisis has been part of – are together spawning a new and disturbing trend towards buying up land for outsourced food production… The first track is food security… The second track is financial returns.”   Now, in 2010 as the global food crisis continues, the World Bank and other international financial institutions and agencies are hopping on the land grabbing bandwagon. Both the Via Campesina and Food First International Action Network (FIAN) have organized a letter writing campaign to expose the false “win-win” claims of the World Bank. Grassroots International joins them in this action in commemoration of International Day of Peasant Struggle. We urge our supporters to consider joining us!   Below is the text of the action from the Via Campesina and FIAN. You can sign-on by clicking hereStop Land Grabbing immediately!
Do not support the principles of “responsible” agribusiness investment promoted by the World Bank
Land grabbing denies land for local communities, destroys livelihoods, reduces the political space for peasant oriented agricultural policies and distorts markets towards increasingly concentrated agribusiness interests and global trade, rather than sustainable peasant agriculture for local and national markets and for future generations. It will also accelerate eco-system destruction and the climate crisis. Therefore, land grabbing violates human rights. Nevertheless The World Bank, through creating voluntary principles on responsible agricultural investment tries to avoid the necessary prohibition of land grabbing by creating the illusion that these principles would prevent the disastrous consequences mentioned. Please send letters to your government requesting it to immediately stop any support to land grabbing and to the World Banks principles. Ask your government to promote the implementation of the final declaration of the International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ICARRD) and the recommendations made by the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) instead. Please insert your sender address to the model letter attached and send it by e-mail, fax or mail to your country´s Prime Minister/President and World Bank Governor (usually the Finance Minister). A list with country WB governors can be found here:
For the Spanish version, please see
For the French version, please see   Please inform FIAN about any response to your letters. Thanks for your participation!

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