This block used to be for first-time homebuyers. Then global investors bought in. Peter Whoriskey, Spencer Woodman and Margot Gibbs Washington Post December 15, 2021Continue reading
Category Archives: Control of land and natural resources
Review of The Water Defenders: How Ordinary People Saved a Country From Corporate Greed by Robin Broad and John Cavanagh
The Water Defenders Reviewed by Richard Feinberg Foreign Affairs March/April 2021
Land inequality is rising in most countries, study says
International Land Coalition November 24, 2020
New measures and analysis proves that land inequality is significantly higher than previously recorded, with data reporting a 41 percent increase compared to traditional census data. The report, Uneven Ground: land inequality at the heart of unequal societies, is the first of its kind, shedding new light on the scale and speed of this growing phenomenon and providing the most comprehensive picture available today. The report was informed by 17 specially commissioned research papers as well as analysis of existing data and literature under a wide partnership led by the International Land Coalition, and in close collaboration with Oxfam.Continue reading
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
Control of land and natural resources 2020
What’s between 30 million Americans and an eviction tsunami? Only government intervention can keep millions of Americans housed. Francesca Mari New York Times December 2, 2020 (opinion)
The U.S. financial sector has been strongly supported during the Covid 19 crisis with well over $1 trillion of U.S. government assistance—so strongly, in fact, that financial values have soared. Meanwhile, 30 million low-income renters, without even the basic property of a home, face eviction and need substantial financial assistance. —Harmful Economics
If TIAA’s Roger Ferguson wants to be Treasury Secretary, he should fix his farmland problem Jim Goodman, Jason Jarvis, and Doug Hertzler ActionAid USA November 20, 2020
When Altamiran Ribeiro, a Black community leader with the Catholic Church’s Pastoral Land Commission in northeast Brazil came to Washington, he hoped to meet with DC resident Roger Ferguson, the CEO of the financial firm TIAA. Ribeiro wanted to explain to him what had happened to communities when TIAA bought a large tract of land in the state of Piaui from a notorious land grabber who had seized community forests and pastures. He wanted to tell Ferguson about the fires and deforestation TIAA was funding in the Cerrado region and how their large-scale soybean plantations on the high plateaus were depleting and polluting the water sources of the communities in the valleys. But through his corporate secretary, Ferguson declined to meet with Ribeiro.
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.Continue reading