Phase two of our research on land grabs reveals how bad energy policies and development agendas contribute to famine and conflict in Africa.
Understanding Land Investment Deals in Africa: Publications
Endless War: The Destroyed Land, Life, and Identity of the Tamil People in Sri Lanka, brings forth shocking new evidence on the extent of the continued persecution of the minority Tamil population in the North and East of the country.
L'Oakland Institute publie C’est notre terre, Pourquoi rejeter la privatisation des terres coutumières, un document éducatif qui démystifie les arguments utilisés pour privatiser les terres dans le monde, tout en démontrant comment les systèmes fonciers coutumiers sont essentiels pour protéger les moyens de subsistance et assurer le développement durable pour la population et la planète.
El Oakland Institute lanza Esta es nuestra tierra: por qué rechazar la privatización de la tierra consuetudinaria, un recurso educativo que desmiente mitos utilizados para privatizar la tierra en todo el mundo, al tiempo que proporciona hechos sobre cómo los sistemas de tenencia consuetudinarios son fundamentales para proteger los medios de vida y garantizar el desarrollo sostenible para las personas y el planeta.
This Is Our Land: Why Reject the Privatization of Customary Land, is an educational resource that debunks myths used for privatizing land around the world, while providing facts on how customary tenure systems are critical to protecting livelihoods and ensuring sustainable development for the people and the planet.
Dignity or Exploitation — What Future for Farmworker Families in the United States? documents the systematic abuse of workers in the H-2A program and its impact on the resident farmworker communities, confronted with a race to the bottom in wages and working conditions.
Nicaragua: Una revolución fallida: La lucha indígena por el Saneamiento se publica en un creciente clima de miedo y represión en las Regiones Autónomas de la Costa Caribe de Nicaragua, como lo demuestran los recientes ataques contra las comunidades Mayangna de Alal y Wasakin y la comunidad Miskitu de Santa Clara, y proporciona información detallada sobre los actores involucrados: empresas mineras de oro extranjeras, actores nacionales e internacionales en la industria maderera y ganadera, así como destacados funcionarios nicaragüenses.
A new brief by the Oakland Institute urges member states to deliver the final blow to the Bank’s ranking programs — the Doing Business Report (DBR) and Enabling the Business of Agriculture (EBA). The DBR and EBA face a growing crisis of legitimacy and confidence. Since last year, two anchor donors have ceased funding the EBA; in January 2018, former World Bank Chief Economist Paul Romer resigned after exposing politically motivated manipulation of the DBR rankings in Chile, leading the country to demand a full investigation of the rankings.
In March 2014, the multicontinental campaign Our Land Our Business was launched to demand the end of the World Bank’s Doing Business project and Benchmarking the Business of Agriculture (BBA) initiative, recently renamed Enabling the Business of Agriculture (EBA). Bringing together over 260 NGOs, farmer groups, grassroots organizations, and trade unions, Our Land Our Business condemned the World Bank business indicators, which rank countries on their investment climate for pushing a one-size-fits- all model and facilitating large-scale land grabs in developing countries.
Today, on the heels of Ukraine’s new cabinet appointments, the Oakland Institute (OI) is releasing a new brief detailing western agribusiness investments in the country. In Walking on the West Side: the World Bank and the IMF in the Ukraine Conflict, a report released in July 2014, the Oakland Institute exposed how international financial institutions swooped in on the heels of the political upheaval in Ukraine to deregulate and throw open the nation’s vast agricultural sector to foreign corporations. This fact sheet provides details on the transnational agribusinesses that are increasingly investing in Ukraine, including Monsanto, Cargill, and DuPont, and how corporations are taking over all aspects of Ukraine’s agricultural system. This includes circumventing land moratoriums, investing in seed and input production facilities, and acquiring commodity production, processing, and transportation facilities.
In the years following the 2001 economic crisis, the World Bank has used Uruguay as the poster child of an economy that has become stronger after following its development model. The Bank pushed for financial sector changes, including developing capital markets (the buying and selling of long term debt and other mechanisms) to improve the investment climate in the country. At the 88th position out of 189 countries, Uruguay enjoys a “good” score in the 2014 World Bank Doing Business rankings. This ranking reflects Uruguay’s efforts to follow the directives of the Bank’s investment climate team, which provides advisory services to the country.
Uganda was the second best performing economy of the East African Community (EAC) in the 2013 Doing Business report, and the country is a good ally for the World Bank in the region. It was recently chosen as one of the pilot countries to test the Bank’s new Benchmarking the Business of Agriculture (BBA) indicator, a project that aims to “help policy makers strengthen agribusiness globally, enabling the farm sector to participate more fully in the market.” With this project underway, the Bank will assist Uganda in creating an environment that supports the establishment of more private agribusinesses in the country, despite concerns that agricultural investments in Uganda have provoked land grabbing and dispossession of local populations.
Laos, officially the Lao People’s Democratic Republic is a mountainous, land-locked state, identified as one of the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDC). Since the year 2000, Laos has undergone an unprecedented transformation in rural land use, as government reforms facilitate growth through market-based economic strategies. The goal of the Laotian government is to graduate from LDC country status by 2020.
In 2008, the World Bank’s Doing Business program named Kenya one of its 10 Top Reformers, after the country had implemented a number of pro-business reforms. However, since then, the weakening investment climate and an “unsupportive” fiscal environment contributed to the Bank reconsidering Kenya’s inclusion in the Top Reformer group. Kenya dropped from 122nd out of 189 countries in the 2013 Doing Business ranking to 129th in the 2014 evaluation.
Although it is among the world’s resource-richest countries, the DRC ranks at the bottom of the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking (183rd out of 189 economies ranked in 2014), with the US Bureau of Business Affairs qualifying the country as “a highly challenging environment in which to do business.”1 Invasions sparking consecutive conflicts in 1996-1997 and 1998-2003, fueled by foreign interests over Congolese resources, have played a big role in destabilizing the economy and governing institutions.
Since Cambodia was first ranked 145th in the World Bank’s Doing Business (DB) ratings in 2008, it has only inched up slightly, moving to 137th in 2014. This deceptively low score belies the country’s deep deregulation in the hopes of attracting foreign investment. In 2014, the World Bank recognized Cambodia for being the South East Asian country most open to foreign direct investment (FDI), as well as the second largest recipient of FDI in agriculture in the region.
In its 2013 Growing Africa report, the World Bank argued “wider uptake and more intensive use of improved seed, fertilizer, and other inputs would go a long way to closing the African ‘agricultural performance deficit.’” The report goes on to advocate policy and regulation reforms claiming, “policy and regulatory barriers, including import restrictions and rigid, lengthy processes for releasing new varieties are slowing the adoption of agricultural inputs.” According to the World Bank, growth of the private sector is the best way to bring about agricultural development. Assuch, the Bank’s Doing Business (DB) project “encourages countries to compete towards more efficient regulation,” resulting in deregulation of the sector.