Land grabbing: La Via Campesina urges States to act

(Rome, May 10th, 2012) This week, the United Nations Committee on World Food Security is convening for a special session to formally adopt the recently concluded Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the context of National Food Security. These new guidelines could prove to be one small but important step towards reforming the policies at the root cause of the food crisis.

La Via Campesina reminds governments that the guidelines have been built on a foundation of agreed upon human rights principles that cannot be negotiated. It is therefore the responsibility of states to support the implementation of these guidelines and to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of their citizens.

In this regard, La Via Campesina urgently requests all governments to condemn the practise of land grabbing that is currently displacing millions of peasants and small-scale producers around the world. Land grabbing is causing massive violations of human rights, whilst destroying land, society, environment and food sovereignty.

Read more: Land grabbing: La Via Campesina urges States to...

A new report on peasant and farmer mobilization against land grabbing

Dowload the report here

(Bamako, 7 May 2012) The National Coordination of Peasant Organizations (CNOP) of Mali and La Via Campesina have today published a new report on the mobilization of social movements against land grabbing. Land grabs jeopardize food sovereignty and threaten sustainable family farming and peasants everywhere in the world.

The document stems from the first international peasant and farmer conference against land grabbing, held at the Nyéléni site in Sélingué in Mali, from 17 to 19 November 2011. The gathering included about 250 participants, principally women and men of rural and peasant origin, from 40 mainly African countries. It witnessed numerous testimonies by populations that had been ousted from their land by foreign investors who have set up vast monocultures for the export of foodstuffs or agrofuels. In most cases the populations are neither informed nor compensated.

Peasants and sustainable family farmers, women and men, with the support of non-governmental organizations and personalities, have drawn up a list of the manifestations of this phenomenon on the different continents. Then joint action lines were suggested to fight this scourge: opposition to the ultra-neoliberal policies of the World Bank, the development of a global peasant and small-scale farming alliance, the use of human rights mechanisms to defend the victims, and the launch of a campaign for genuine agrarian and land reform.

Read more: A new report on peasant and farmer mobilization...

The land belongs to those who cultivate it

Press release, Rome, 25th of April 2012

European Coordination Via Campesina

We, farmers, gathered in General Assembly in Rome this 24th and 25th of April, express our support and solidarity to all people struggling for the preservation of land, the access to land and to the profession. We are opposing the vague of privatisation of public land:

  • in Mali, where farmers were arrested for working the land of which they were expelled after land-grabbing;
  • in Honduras, where, since the 17th of April, 1200 ha were occupied;
  • in Andalusia, where, since the 4th of March, landless farmers are occupying in Somonte a public farm of 400 ha, which was put on speculative sale;
  • in France, where 2 farmers and a political representative are on hunger strike to refuse the expulsions started for the construction of an airport in Notre-Dame des Landes;
  • In Italy, in the Souza valley, where farmers are resisting the expropriation caused by the construction of a high –speed train line Lyon-Turin.

Read more: The land belongs to those who cultivate it

Land Grabbing in Mali: Farmers arrested

CNOP, UACDDDD, CAD, LJDH and AOPP Against Land Grabbing

Press release

(Bamako, 24 April 2012) Since 2009, men and women peasants of the Office du Niger in Mali, in particular those from Sanamadougou, Saou and Sansanding are being treated unfairly by certain investors. The targeted wrongs include bastonnades, or beatings with sticks and other weapons, arrests, the destruction of seed and seedlings, field grabbing and the grabbing of water supply sources. Dozens of families are now living from the solidarity of the other villages, having been unable to cultivate for three years, due to the lack of fields.

In spite of numerous attempts by the villagers to contact and engage with the authorities at all levels, the situation remains unchanged.

In the run-up to the agricultural campaign, the peasants of Sanamadougou and Saou began preparing on 23 April 2012. They were very surprised when four of their leaders, including the village chief, were arrested and taken to the Brigade de gendarmerie in Markala.

Read more: Land Grabbing in Mali: Farmers arrested

Additional information