The first years of the twenty-first century will be remembered for a global land rush of nearly unprecedented scale.
Amidst an exodus of some 100,000 people from the conflict-torn eastern Ukraine, ongoing fighting in the urban strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk between Ukrainian soldiers and separatist rebels, and talk of more sanctions against Russia, it is hard to focus on the more subtle changes taking place in this eastern European nation.
Try to imagine an expanse of barren land, stretching for miles, with no trace of greenery, not a single bough to cast a sliver of shade, or a trickle of water to moisten the parched earth. Now imagine that desert expanding by 12 million hectares a year. Why? Because it’s already happening.
The world is increasingly hungry because small farmers are losing access to farmland. Small farmers produce most of the world’s food but are now squeezed onto less than 25 percent of the world’s farmland, a new report reveals. Corporate and commercial farms, big biofuel operations and land speculators are pushing millions off their land.
An estimated 400 million acres of farmland in the United States will likely change hands over the coming two decades as older farmers retire, even as new evidence indicates this land is being strongly pursued by private equity investors.
As the international community fleshes out a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be unveiled next year, civil society activists and U.N. officials agree their success will hinge on policies that address the nexus of poverty, hunger and environmental degradation.
Since the violence that ensued after the ruling party won Ethiopia’s 2005 elections, this East African nation has seen little in the way of political dissent. That is, until the last few months.
The U.S. and U.K. foreign assistance offices are being accused of ignoring, mischaracterising or downplaying testimony offered by ethnic communities in Ethiopia who accuse the Addis Ababa government of forcefully evicting them from their lands and violating their human rights in the name of mass development projects.
With less than three years before a 2015 deadline, the developing world is largely expected to miss one of the U.N.'s key Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): halving the number of people living in extreme poverty and hunger.
After coming under fire from environmental and social justice organisations for violations of land protection laws, Herakles Farms, a New York-based agricultural company, has suspended a large, controversial palm oil project in Cameroon.