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 eight 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, and Asia-Pacific.

The lands offered to investors are frequently in use although occupants lack legal claims to the land and access to legal institutions. As demand for land assets increases and governments and multilateral institutions promote land investment, displacement and impact on livelihoods have become serious sources of concern.

What we are doing about it

The Oakland Institute is committed to increasing transparency about land deals including the terms of the deals, the actors involved, and the impact on people and the environment.

Publications

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Nicaragua's Failed Revolution

On January 29, 2020, the Indigenous Alal community in the Mayangna Sauni As territory in the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve, was attacked by over 80 armed men connected to land grabbing in protected Indigenous land. Four people were reportedly killed, two injured, and 16 houses burned. In the weeks following the incident, locals remained under continuous threat and harassment, as they kept hearing guns fired in the air, near their villages...
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Futile Wait for Justice...

Names and details that could reveal the identity of those interviewed have been withheld to ensure their safety. The fear of invasions, killings, and kidnappings, that is silencing the Indigenous communities in Nicaragua, makes this report all the more urgent.
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My Son Was a Very Good Son

Names and details that could reveal the identity of those interviewed have been withheld to ensure their safety. The fear of invasions, killings, and kidnappings, that is silencing the Indigenous communities in Nicaragua, makes this report all the more urgent.
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Struggling to Survive

Names and details that could reveal the identity of those interviewed have been withheld to ensure their safety. The fear of invasions, killings, and kidnappings, that is silencing the Indigenous communities in Nicaragua, makes this report all the more urgent.
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We Gave Them an Opportunity

Names and details that could reveal the identity of those interviewed have been withheld to ensure their safety. The fear of invasions, killings, and kidnappings, that is silencing the Indigenous communities in Nicaragua, makes this report all the more urgent.

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Blog

A seed fair in Democratic Republic of Congo. Credit: Alexa Reynolds, ACF DR Congo

Emperor Has No New Clothes

Thursday, January 30, 2020

The EBA program was not created to help farmers. The Bank's claims to support farmers via the EBA is inherently contradictory to the own raison d'être of the program. The best way for the World Bank to assist farmers would be to disband the EBA program altogether.

Maasai villagers, their faces are hidden for their protection. Credit: Oakland Institute

Tanzania's Withdrawal from the African Court on Human and People's Rights

Monday, December 9, 2019 Anuradha Mittal

A Wrong Move for the Country and for the Continent Maasai villagers, their faces are hidden for their protection. Credit: Oakland Institute When domestic mechanisms fail and there is no rule of law, independent regional and international mechanisms are essential to ensure accountability and human rights for all. This December 10th, recognized internationally as Human Rights Day, it is necessary to challenge Tanzanian President John Magufuli...

Forest view. Credit: Janhavi Mittal

Dalit and Adivasi Women at the Forefront of the Forest Rights Movement in India

Monday, September 9, 2019 Janhavi Mittal

The Supreme Court of India is set to rule on a case, Wildlife Trust Vs the Union of India, which could result in the eviction of 1.9 million forest dwellers from the country's Indigenous and traditionally marginalized communities.

As India celebrates independence day, a curfew pass for a resident of Srinagar serves as a reminder of the selective and paradoxical nature of this freedom as the valley remains in a state of lockdown. Photo: H Zargar.

Legalizing Dispossession: A Tale of Two Indian Land Grabs

Thursday, August 15, 2019 Anuradha Mittal

India's 73rd Independence Day merits introspection on the deep crisis faced by the world's largest democracy. Two recent attempts at perpetuating unprecedented land grabs, mark the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government's proclivity for legalizing dispossession and marginalization of the most vulnerable.

Nivada Rana (R) and Roma Malik (L), one of the leaders of the All India Union of Forest Working People, with the author. Credit: Janhavi Mittal / The Oakland Institute

Who is Afraid of the Forest Rights Act?

Monday, August 5, 2019 Janhavi Mittal

International civil society must continue to demand that the government of India not only defend the FRA, a progressive legislation that protects traditional forest dwelling communities, but also ensure its careful and widespread implementation.

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