Land Rights

The purchase and lease of vast tracts of land from poor, developing countries by wealthier nations and international private investors has led to debate about whether land investment is a tool for development or force of displacement.

The Facts: 

Over the last four years, there has been a significant increase in land-based investment, both in terms of the number of investment projects and the total land area allocated. Industrialized nations and private foreign investors have driven demand for arable land in developing regions, particularly in Africa, but also in South America, Central Asia and Southeast Asia. Governments are interested in the lands for purposes of food security and biofuel production. Both governments and private investors are attracted by policy reforms that have improved the investment climate in developing countries, as well as arbitrage opportunities afforded by the extremely low cost of leasing land in these regions.

While only fractions of arable land in developing regions are being used for agriculture, demand for strategic swats next to irrigation and shipping sites is growing with greater investment. These areas and other lands are frequently in use even though occupants’ have no legal rights to the land or access to legal institutions. As demand for land assets increases and governments and multilateral institutions promote investment in national lands, displacement and affected livelihoods are becoming serious sources of international concern.

What we are doing about it: 

Media coverage of land acquisitions has been sparse and lacking in investigative detail. The Oakland Institute is committed to increasing transparency about land deals including the terms of negotiation, theoretical consequences of investment, real impact on the ground, and ultimate impact on development in several African countries.

Establecido en 1944 con el objetivo de reducir la pobreza, el Banco Mundial, con sede en Washington DC, es una institución financiera internacional que proporciona ayuda financiera y técnica, además de servicios de asesoramiento para mejorar el desarrollo en los países pobres y en transición. A pesar de sus metas loables, las actividades del Banco Mundial y su influencia excesiva sobre las decisiones políticas en los países en desarrollo han sido foco de controversia durante muchos años. Innumerables manifestaciones denunciaron los objetivos neoliberales del Banco, incluyendo cuando impuso políticas de condicionalidad injustas, medidas de austeridad que niegan el derecho a la educación o a la asistencia médica, cuando apoyó proyectos destructores con respecto al medioambiente, y falsos alivios de deuda. Los programas de ajuste estructural iniciados por el Banco durante la década de 1980 resultaron en el empobrecimiento de millones de personas en los países en desarrollo, ya que forzaron el fin de la intervención del estado y requirieron la extensa liberalización de las economías como condiciones para recibir los préstamos del Banco Mundial y del Fondo Monetario International. Los programas de ajuste estructural fueron muy criticados por la sociedad civil hasta su abandono oficial en 2002.
Established in 1944 with the objective of reducing poverty, the World Bank, headquartered in Washington, DC, is an international financial institution that provides financial and technical assistance as well as advisory services to enhance development in poor and transitioning countries. Despite its praiseworthy goals, the World Bank’s activities and undue influence over policy making in developing countries have come under heavy criticism over the years. Countless protests have denounced the Bank’s neoliberal agenda, which includes unfair conditionality policies, austerity measures that deny people’s right to healthcare or education, support for environmentally destructive projects, and sham debt relief. The Bank’s 1980s structural adjustments programs (SAPs), impoverished millions in developing countries after imposing the withdrawal of state intervention and sweeping liberalization of economies as conditions to receive loans. The SAPs came under heavy attack from all quarters of civil society until they were officially withdrawn in 2002.
Créée en 1944 dans le but d’agir pour réduire la pauvreté, la Banque Mondiale, dont le siège se trouve à Washington, est une institution qui fournit de l’assistance financière et technique ainsi que des services de conseil pour le développement dans les pays pauvres et en transition. Malgré ces objectifs louables, les activités de la Banque Mondiale ainsi que son influence excessive sur la gouvernance des pays en développement ont soulevé de fortes critiques au cours des années. D’innombrables manifestations ont dénoncé l’agenda néolibéral de la Banque lorsqu’elle imposait des politiques de conditionnalité injustes, des mesures d’austérité niant le droit des personnes à la santé et à l’éducation, soutenait des projets aux conséquences environnementales destructrices ou fournissait un allègement fictif de la dette des pays. Les Programmes d’Ajustements Structurels (PAS) mis en oeuvre dans les années 1980 ont appauvrit des millions de personnes dans les pays en développement du fait de l’imposition du retrait de l’Etat et de la libéralisation radicale des économies comme conditions nécessaires pour recevoir les prêts de la Banque et du Fond Monétaire International. Les PAS ont été critiqués de toutes parts par la société civile jusqu’à leur abandon officiel en 2002.

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April 11, 2014
En 2013, la Banque Mondiale classait le Mali parmi les pays africains ayant fourni le plus d’efforts pour améliorer le « climat des affaires » depuis 2005. Malgré la crise qui a secoué le nord du pays de 2012 à 2013, il est resté le premier parmi les huit nations de l’Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA) au classement Doing Business 2013. En 2014, le Mali a perdu ce leadership en arrivant juste derrière le Burkina Faso au classement général (155e place). Le pays reste cependant un des « bons élèves » de la Banque Mondiale en Afrique sub-saharienne.
April 11, 2014
In 2013, Mali was classified among the African countries that made the most effort to improve their business climate since 2005 by the World Bank. Undeterred by the 2012-2013 political crisis, the country retained its top ranking out of the eight West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) nations in the Doing Business 2013 report. In 2014, Mali lost this leadership, coming at the 155th place, just behind Burkina Faso. The country, however, remains a good student of the World Bank in sub-Saharan Africa.
Quick Facts: 

56 million – total hectares of land (nearly the size of France) acquired in the developing world by international governments and investors since 2008.

70% of the population – in sub-Saharan Africa lives on their traditional lands that, because of colonial heritage, are classified as state lands in independent Africa. This is why governments believe that they can give away their land without consultation or legal redress.

$1 per hectare per year – the cost to private investors and foreign governments of leasing land in Ethiopia in 2008.