Tag Archives: Control of land and natural resources

The women of Macharawari Pallem.

How the Yanadi, an oppressed indigenous people in India, are reclaiming their rights one village at a time

How the Yanadi, an Oppressed Indigenous People in India, are Reclaiming Their Rights One Village At a Time Stella Paul Inter Press Service August 7, 2018

Photo caption: The women of Macharawari Pallem, a village of the Yanadi indigenous people located some three hours from Chennai city in South India, finally re-claimed their land after being award it over two decades ago and losing it to landlords and village elites. Credit: Stella Paul/IPS

Caption: A bare room in a looted home. The village of Nadungoru became a ghost town after residents fled invading herdsmen. Credit Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

Loss of Fertile Land Fuels ‘Looming Crisis’ Across Africa

Jeffrey Gettleman New York Times July 30, 2017
Africa has a land problem. The continent seems so vast and the land so open. The awesome sense of space is an inextricable part of the beauty here — the unadulterated vistas, the endless land. But in a way, that is an illusion. Population swells, climate change, soil degradation, erosion, poaching, global food prices and even the benefits of affluence are exerting incredible pressure on African land. They are fueling conflicts across the continent. See full story.

Caption: A bare room in a looted home. The village of Nadungoru became a ghost town after residents fled invading herdsmen. Credit Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

Photo credit: Mozambique Mining Post

The cost of land grabbing in Mozambique’s Tete Province

Burag Gurden EEB/Environmental Justice Project August 31, 2017

Tete Province is very rich in coal. An estimated 23 billion tons of mostly untapped coal lies beneath Tete. It is expected to become the region’s energy powerhouse built on coal and hydroelectricity. However, local farmer communities have been on the losing side of the coal boom so far, especially since large scale resettlements forced them out.

Earlier this summer, Hussene Antonio walked his herd from a small Mozambican village to some graze-friendly grassland. The land he was heading to once belonged to his community, until several mining companies including Brazilian Vale S.A., British Rio Tinto, Australian Riversdale Resources Limited as well as Indian giant Jindal Steel and Power Limited swarmed to the place with investments worth billions of dollars. Their extensive concession rights cover half the province. The more than 6 million ha they claim includes nearly all the grasslands that herdsmen from the region need access to.  Read full story.

Photo credit: Mozambique Mining Post

In pictures: The first 1000 days of hunger

UBELONG BBC News July 27, 2017

Across Ghana, the irreversible effects of child malnutrition can be seen among thousands of children affected during their critical first 1,000 days of life. This is the time in a child’s life that will determine their health as adults, their ability to learn in school and to perform in future jobs.A group of photographers and researchers organised by UBELONG went to Ghana to uncover the complex stories behind this problem.  See full story.

Photo caption: Nana has been the chief of the farming community of Bentum for 35 years, although two years ago he sold most of the farming land in the area to a developer. As a result, most local villagers lost their livelihoods, and now struggle to feed their families. Credit: UBELONG/Nick Parisse

How ordinary people in developing countries are harmed by the political-economic system

Standard economics does not have an adequate conception of harm.  Consequently it does not understand that the political-economic system can be organized for the benefit of a few, and that ordinary people can be harmed by the operation of this system.  This blog post is based on Vested Interests and the Common People in Developing Countries: Understanding Oppressive Societies and Their Effects published in the June 2017 Journal of Economic Issues.

The standard economic model of how economies work is that activities are essentially productive. This is not a correct view of reality. The principal difficulty is that there is economic activity that is unproductive and harmful (from the point of view of those being harmed). This is a central feature of the economic organization of these societies, and creates poverty. Societies are run on this basic set of principles: Take and maintain control of the government and other aspects of society, and use the power of government to obtain income.  Principal ways in which ordinary people are harmed include the following. Continue reading