As much as 227 million hectares of land in developing countries (about the size of Western Europe) has been sold or leased since 2001. Such large scale investments are being referred to as “land grabbing”. The investors include national elites, foreign companies and international governments. Land grabbing is a violation of Human Rights; it compromises the environment as it renders land a commodity for market oriented production rather than feeding the hungry. It is also an economic disaster as it robs smallholders of their potential to secure their own livelihoods in a dignified manner.
Part of CIDSE’s efforts to draw attention to this serious problem has been its presence at the World Social Forum which resulted in the “Dakar Land Appeal” calling for an immediate moratorium on such deals. Moreover, CIDSE’s Member Organizations intend to make the voices of its partners in the South heard and aim at providing first- hand accounts of land grabbing cases. We have also published a Briefing for Social Movements on Agribusiness and Human Rights.