Category Archives: Control of land and natural resources

Control of land and natural resources is an important part of Harm through the market, and Obtaining income through the government. Most control has been established in the past, but gaining and maintaining control is still important today. First, large land deals and violence and intimidation can wrest control from local people.  Secondly, land use for human products such as cattle and palm oil can threaten native species such as the orangutan. Governments also play a large role in the control of land and natural resources as they assign and maintain land ownership.

Oppression and Exploitation News November 12 – 18

Harming people – Keeping people oppressed 2020

Farcical coverage of Julian Assange’s farcical hearing Joshua Cho Fair November 13, 2020

Barr hands prosecutors the authority to investigate voter fraud claims Katie Benner and Michael S. Schmidt New York Times November 9, 2020
The attorney general said that he had authorized “instances” of investigative steps but that inquiries should not be based on specious claims. Mr. Barr’s authorization prompted the Justice Department official who oversees investigations of voter fraud, Richard Pilger, to step down from the post within hours.

Conflict 2020

Sunken boats. Stolen gear. Fishermen are prey as China conquers a strategic sea  Shashank Bengaliand and Vo Kieu Bao Uyen Los Angeles Times November 12, 2020

Harm through the market 2020

Uber and Lyft Drivers in California will remain contractors Kate Conger New York Times November 4, 2020
The victory of Proposition 22, the most expensive initiative in the state’s history, could help gig companies remake labor laws throughout the country.

Control of land and natural resources 2020

Barbarians at the barn: private equity sinks its teeth into agriculture Grain September 29 2020

Cover of 'Unworthy Republic' by Claudio Saunt Credit: W.W. Norton

Unworthy Republic: The dispossession of Native Americans and the road to Indian territory by Claudio Saunt

‘Unworthy Republic’ takes an unflinching look at Indian removal in the 1830s Jennifer Szalai New York Times March 24, 2020
Saunt’s book traces the expulsion of 80,000 Native Americans over the course of the 1830s, from their homes in the eastern United States to territories west of the Mississippi River….Saunt argues that Indian Removal was truly “unprecedented”; it was a “formal, state-administered process” designed to eliminate every native person to the east of the Mississippi — a systematic expulsion that would later serve as an ignominious model for other regimes around the world.

Cover of Unworthy Republic by Claudio Saunt. Credit W.W. Norton

Image: Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmeus pygmeus) and her baby in Betung Kerihun and Danau Sentarum national parks' corridor in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Credit: © WWF-Indonesia/Jimmy Syahirsyah

Control of land and natural resources 2020

Barbarians at the barn: private equity sinks its teeth into agriculture Grain September 29 2020
Financial flows going into agriculture are growing more and more institutionalized – and more and more private. To be sure, investing in agriculture has been going on since time immemorial. After all, farmers do it every day as they improve their soils, set up cooperatives, share knowledge with their children and develop local markets. But since the mid 2000s, institutional investment in agriculture has started growing. From seven agriculture-focused funds in 2004 to more than 300 today, the interest in capturing profits from farming and agribusiness on a global scale is real – and Covid-19 is not slowing things down. Who is involved? Where is the money going? How do these funds pay off for the financial players and for local communities? These are some of the questions we set out to get answers to, in order to better understand capital flows and who is influencing the direction of agriculture today.

In the Amazon, the coronavirus fuels an illegal gold rush — and an environmental crisis Terrence McCoy and Heloísa Traiano Washington Post September 4, 2020

Massacre in the Amazon Jesse Hyde Vanity Fair April 20, 2020
Jane de Oliveira set out to protect the world’s largest rain forest from the corporate interests that are burning it to the ground. Then the armed men showed up.

Conflicts over indigenous land grow more violent in Central America Alexander Villegas and Frances Robles New York Times March 9, 2020
Faced with government inaction, some activists try to reclaim ancestral lands on their own. Often, they pay a high price.

Biggest food brands ‘failing goals to banish palm oil deforestation’ Fiona Harvey The Guardian January 16, 2020
Palm oil: WWF name and shame top global buyers Oliver Balch The Guardian January 28, 2020
Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard (Summary) World Wildlife Fund January 2020

Image: Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmeus pygmeus) and her baby in Betung Kerihun and Danau Sentarum national parks’ corridor in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Credit: © WWF-Indonesia/Jimmy Syahirsyah

Land Matrix , an independent land monitoring intitiative, has useful information on large scale land acquisitions including an interactive map of large land deals and country profiles.

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Environmentalists killed 2018 by country and sector. Credit: Global Witness.

How governments and business silence land and environmental defenders

Enemies of the State: How governments and business silence land and environmental defenders Global Witness July 2019

Calls to protect the planet are growing louder – but around the world, those defending their land and our environment are being silenced. More than three such people were murdered on average every week in 2018, with attacks driven by destructive industries like mining, logging and agribusiness. This year, our annual report on the killings of land and environmental defenders also reveals how countless more people were threatened, arrested or thrown in jail for daring to oppose the governments or companies seeking to profit from their land. These are ordinary people trying to protect their homes and livelihoods, and standing up for the health of our planet. Often their land is violently grabbed to produce goods used and consumed across the world every day, from food, to mobile phones, to jewellery. Continue reading.

Access full report.

Graphic. Environmentalists killed 2018 by country and sector. Credit: Global Witness.

Photo: Hamilton Lopes and his daughter, members of the Guarani indigenous community, stand in front of their hut. Credit: Mario Osava/IPS

Control of land and natural resources 2019

Bitter aftertaste? Food companies could face costly disputes over land in Africa Adela Suliman Thompson Reuters Foundation February 24, 2019

Brazil to open indigenous reserves to mining without indigenous consent Sue Branford and Maurício Torres Mongabay March 14, 2019

Brazil agriculture minister wants to open indigenous land to commercial farming Jake Spring and Anthony Boadle Reuters January 18, 2019

Indigenous people, the first victims of Brazil’s new far-right government Mario Osava Inter Press Service January 10, 2019

Photo: Hamilton Lopes and his daughter, members of the Guarani indigenous community, stand in front of their hut, where their family lives a precarious existence on land that has not been demarcated, where they face threats of expulsion, on Brazil’s border with Paraguay. Large landowners seize the lands of the Guarani, the second-largest native community in the country, causing a large number of murders and suicides of indigenous people. Credit: Mario Osava/IPS See original article.

Argentina’s indigenous people fight for land rights Daniel Gutman Irin News January 12, 2019

Image: Mary Tembo displays her homegrown organic seeds at her farm in Chongwe, Zambia. Credit: Timothy A. Wise
Image: Mary Tembo displays her homegrown organic seeds at her farm in Chongwe, Zambia. Credit: Timothy A. Wise

Image: Mary Tembo displays her homegrown organic seeds at her farm in Chongwe, Zambia.
In December, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly approved the 
Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other People Working in Rural Areas The declaration formally extends human rights protections to farmers whose “seed sovereignty” is threatened by government and corporate practices. Credit: Timothy A. Wise

U.N. backs seed sovereignty in landmark peasants’ rights declaration Timothy Wise Foodtank December, 2018
“On December 17, the United Nations General Assembly took a quiet but historic vote, approving the Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other People Working in Rural Areas, by a vote of 121-8 with 52 abstentions. The declaration, which was the product of some 17 years of diplomatic work led by the international peasant alliance La Via Campesina, formally extends human rights protections to farmers whose “seed sovereignty” is threatened by government and corporate practices. ”