- Published on Friday, 19 April 2013 09:18
Press Release of the European Coordination Via Campesina
(17th of April 2013, Fuerteventura) Land concentration and land grabbing do not occur only in developing countries in the South; in fact, both are underway in Europe today. A new report by European Coordination Via Campesina and Hands off the Land network shows that land grabbing and access to land are a critical issues today in Europe, and also reveals that the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidy scheme and other policies is implicated in a variety of ways.
The report, involving 25 authors from 11 countries and titled Land concentration, land grabbing and people’s struggles in Europe, reveals the hidden scandal of how just three per cent of landowners have come to control half of all farmed land. This massive concentration of land ownership and wealth is on a par with Brazil, Colombia and Philippines.
Some of these processes of ever-increasing land concentration are not new; however they have accelerated in recent decades in particular in Eastern Europe. Many feature European companies, as well as new actors including Chinese companies and Middle Eastern Hedge Funds, tied into an increasingly global commodity chains, and all looking to profit from the increasingly speculative commodity of land.
- Published on Friday, 19 April 2013 09:09
Join statement of FOEI, LVC, WMW, CEO etc.
(Budapest, 8 April 2013) We, the undersigned organisations who represent millions of grassroots communities, women’s organisations and small-scale farmers across the globe support the struggle against land grab in Hungary.
Access to land, including control of how it is used and for what purposes, is for local farmers a key element of food sovereignty. Therefore we are very concerned by the alarming rate of land grabbing happening world wide. We recognize that land grabbing is not only happening in the Global South but also in Europe.
We have learned that according to estimates around 1 million ha of land in Hungary have already been grabbed by foreign investors via so called "pocket contracts" and hundreds of thousands of hectares by companies or Hungarian landlords via the leasing of state owned land. The planned new land tenure act submitted by the Hungarian government to the parliament would further accelerate land grabbing and concentration of land unless the draft law is changed by amendments that are supported by almost two hundred civil society groups and farmers' organizations.
European Coordination Via Campesina is determined to defend family farming and small-farmers in Europe
- Published on Friday, 19 April 2013 09:03
European Coordination Via Campesina Press release
(17 April- Fuerteventura)
From 15th to 17th April, ECVC, a European association of small-farmers that brings together 27 farming bodies from 17 countries across Europe, including outside the EU, held its annual General Assembly in the Canary Islands, Spain. One of the Outermost Regions of the European Union, it is not only where Rafael Hernandez, president of Coag Canarias and outgoing member of the management team, grows his crops but also where Mario Cabrera Gonzales, President of the Government of the Island of Fuerteventura, has declared his intention to develop food sovereignty by promoting local production and autonomy.
This is a goal shared by ECVC, and represents a real challenge at a time when the CAP, currently under reform, has come under attack from agribusiness and defenders of major European farming, who are opposed to any change. The CAP offers little hope to the organisations represented by ECVC despite their considerable contribution to the institutional debate, aimed at defending small and medium-scale farmers, the majority of whom are based in the EU. Poverty and unemployment is exacting a rising toll on citizens as a result of the European crisis, which starkly demonstrates the limits of the liberal dogma at work. We must stop destroying farming jobs and instead enable more rural businesses. Achieving access to quality food for all in Europe requires a large number of farms, sustainable production methods and a physical shift in food supply chains.
- Published on Thursday, 18 April 2013 21:33
Statement of la Via Campesina
(Jakarta, 15 of April 2013) In March, the US and SK mobilized over 200 thousand soldiers in the Foal Eagle and Key Resolve Military Exercises. In reaction to what it interpreted as military provocations, North Korea responded by rescinding the 1953 cease fire. The United States responded by dispatching the B-52, a strategic bomber with nuclear capability, and the B-2, a strategic stealth bomber, fighters to further bolster the military exercises. North Korea responded by upgrading its battle readiness to its highest level and placing on standby launch its strategic rockets. The US government responded by placing a nuclear submarine in the vicinity of the Korean Peninsula – making this US military mobilization the largest one since the Iraq War. North Korea reacted by sending mid-range missiles towards its eastern sea coast and notifying its intent to launch them. It also advised the complete withdrawal of foreign diplomatic corps. Finally, it closed the Gaesong Industrial Complex, the last buffer zone between North and South and an important symbol of inter-Korean cooperation.