Thursday, 16 June 2011

CONCORD: EU should act against land grabbing in developing countries

EuroStep – As a reaction to the European Commission’s 2007 Communication on “Advancing African Agriculture” (AAA), the European NGO confederation for relief and development (CONCORD) submitted a monitoring report to the European Parliament’s (EP) Development Committee, addressing the impact of land grabbing. Besides analysing the implications of EU and member state policies on the issue of land grabbing, the 2009-2010 monitoring report specifically focuses on three case studies from African countries, namely Uganda, Mozambique and Ethiopia. It further assesses the role of the European private sector and its linkages with state activities and scrutinizes the impact development assistance and trade and investment policies may have on land grabbing.

In light of increasing large scale land acquisitions that threaten the subsistence of local farmers in developing countries, the report calls on the EU to “initiate as soon as possible the needed international regulation to prevent such land acquisitions, including a legally binding agreement related to the proper regulation of financial and other actors active in agricultural investment”. It moreover stresses that such measures should entail direct references to the supremacy of human rights provisions, with stipulations for punishing human rights abuses by investors and states under international law. To this end, the EU should further “strengthen the implementation of human rights based land policies in ODA, particularly when supporting the implementation of the AU Land Policy Guidelines”, the report reads.

With regards to the EU’s recently adopted renewable energy targets, CONCORD calls upon the EU to scrap these targets and to freeze all policies encouraging “the use of agrofuels for the transport sector until and unless the [aforementioned] regulations … are in place”.

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