Our Land Our Business Campaign

 

Since 2014, the Our Land Our Business campaign has been demanding the end of World Bank’s Doing Business (DB) ranking and Enabling the Business of Agriculture (EBA).

These ranking systems reward countries for reducing their labor standards, destroying their environment, and providing easy access for corporate pillaging and land grabs. They create a race-to-the-bottom between countries as they clamor for World Bank investment dollars.

Organizations can sign the joint statement by sending an email to [email protected]

Reports

Report cover: Rainforest Action Network, CC BY-NC 2.0

Indonesia: The World Bank's Failed East Asian Miracle

Indonesia: The World Bank's Failed East Asian Miracle details how Bank-backed policy reforms have led to the displacement, criminalization, and even murder of smallholder farmers and indigenous defenders to make way for mega-agricultural projects. While Indonesia's rapidly expanding palm oil sector has been heralded as a boon for the economy, its price tag includes massive deforestation, widespread loss of indigenous land, rapidly increasing...

Report Cover: India's mounting agrarian crisis forces distressed and dispossessed agricultural workers to migrate to cities and take up precarious seasonal work on construction sites © Sapana Jaiswal, People's Archive of Rural India

The Great Ventriloquist Act: The World Bank's Bad Business in India

The Great Ventriloquist Act: The World Bank's Bad Business in India exposes how India's one-track focus on improving its DBR has allowed massive environmental, labor, and human rights abuses to take place. Most appalling is the case of Vedanta Resources Plc, a company that benefitted from the removal of environmental safeguards and was able to operate a damaging copper smelter within the city limits of Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu--a mere 8.4 miles...

Down on the Seed Cover: Enabling the Business of Agriculture Enables Corporate Takeover

Down on the Seed: The World Bank Enables Corporate Takeover of Seeds

Only six multinationals currently control over two-thirds of the industrial seed sales, and pending agro-industry mergers stand to further consolidate this oligopoly . Further market expansion for these corporations depends on the shrinking of farmer-managed seed systems, which currently provide 80 to 90 percent of the seed supply in developing countries through on-farm seed saving and farmer-to-farmer seed exchange. Enabling the Business of...

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The Unholy Alliance Report Cover

The Unholy Alliance, Five Western Donors Shape a Pro-Corporate Agenda for African Agriculture

The Unholy Alliance, Five Western Donors Shape a Pro-Corporate Agenda for African Agriculture, exposes how a coalition of four donor countries and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is shaping a pro-business environment in the agricultural sector of developing countries, especially in Africa.

Peru, The Poster Child For the World Bank in Latin America

Peru has remained in the good grace of the World Bank. In 2015, it ranks 35th in the Bank’s Doing Business survey, with the second highest score in Latin America, indicating that the government has “created a regulatory environment conducive to business.” In 2008, Peru requested help from the Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) advisory services for the design of a new reform agenda launched in 2009. As a result, the World Bank’s...

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Willful Blindness: How the World Bank's Doing Business Rankings Impoverish Smallholder Farmers

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...

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Briefs

A Death Knell for the EBA, brief cover

A Death Knell for the EBA: Why the World Bank Must End its Ranking Programs Now

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...

New Name, Same Game: World Bank's Enabling the Business of Agriculture

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...

The World Bank's Bad Business in Uruguay

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...

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The World Bank's Bad Business in Uganda

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 World Bank's Bad Business in Laos

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.

The World Bank's Bad Business in Kenya

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.

The World Bank's Bad Business in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

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...

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The World Bank's Bad Business in Cambodia

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...

The World Bank's Bad Business with Seed and Fertilizer in African Agriculture

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...

Walking on the West Side: the World Bank and the IMF in the Ukraine Conflict

International financing has played a significant—although not always reported—role in the current conflict in Ukraine. In late 2013, conflict between pro-European Union (EU) and pro-Russian Ukrainians escalated to violent levels, leading to the departure of President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 and prompting the greatest East-West confrontation since the Cold War.

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Blog

Construction in Pekanbaru, capital of Riau province in Sumatra, Indonesia. Photo: Flore de Preneuf / World Bank (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Collapsed Buildings & Lost Lives in Palu: The Tragic Cost of the World Bank’s #DoingBusiness Rankings

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 Elizabeth Fraser

In reading about the tragedy, one detail in particular has haunted me: reports of thousands of buildings collapsing and trapping those inside. This hard fact has stayed with me not just because the thought of being trapped in a collapsed building is absolutely terrifying, but because it unveils the dire impact of the World Bank's pro-business agenda.

Mariam Sow delivering the Declaration of Small Scale Food Producers' and Civil Society Organizations

A New Milestone Towards a Sustainable Food System – FAO Agroecology Symposium

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 Flora Sonkin

ROME, Italy—April 3-5, 2018, hallways of the FAO (UN Food and Agriculture Organization) buzzed with over 700 representatives from government, civil society, private sector, and the UN agencies at the second agroecology symposium. Picking up momentum from the first symposium in 2014, and the subsequent regional meetings held in Latin America , Sub-Saharan Africa , Europe, Central Asia and Asia and the Pacific , the three-day Symposium...

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chair Bill Gates and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim at the 2016 World Bank / IMF Spring Meetings. Credit: Simone D. McCourtie / World Bank

Two Blows in a Row: The New Alliance for Food Security Loses Ground

Thursday, April 12, 2018 Flora Sonkin

Buzzwords like 'business-enabling environment,' which underlie NAFSN discourse and practice, merely support the expansion of large-scale and export-oriented agribusinesses, at the cost of local farmers and biodiversity.

Un Teatro Caupolican lleno esperó a Michelle Bachelet para la proclamación del Partido Socialista y Partido por la Democracia, como su pre candidata presidencial.

The World Bank's Fetish For Ranking: The Case Of Doing Business Rank For Chile

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 Paola Langer

On January 12, 2018, World Bank Chief Economist Paul Romer revealed that the Bank’s Doing Business Ranking may have been deliberately skewed and politically manipulated, disfavoring Chile’s ranking under its outgoing socialist president, Michelle Bachelet. Following these revelations, he resigned on January 24.

The World Bank’s Land Conference: Pro-Poor Bluff to Serve Neo-Colonialism

Monday, March 20, 2017 Alice Martin-Prével

This March 20, 2017, the World Bank’s 18th Annual Land and Poverty Conference begins, featuring a session where Bank specialists will deliver their assessment on the “quality” of land regulations globally. In particular, the Bank’s staff will comment on the implementation and findings of the Doing Business (DB) and the Enabling the Business of Agriculture (EBA), two projects that rank countries’ regulatory...

The Oakland Institute's new report Down On the Seed, the World Bank Enables Corporate Takeover of Seeds, exposes that the World Bank's Enabling the Business of Agriculture index reinforces the stranglehold of agrochemical companies and Western nations.

Banking on Seeds: World Bank Sides with Agribusinesses Against Farmers' Rights to Seeds

Tuesday, January 31, 2017 Alice Martin-Prével

Around the world, farmers’ rights to seeds are imperilled by industry-pushed reforms to curtail the freedom to save, reuse, exchange, and sell seeds. This is because, for the industrial seed market to grow, more farmers must rely on seeds bought from corporations, rather than seeds saved from previous harvests...

World Bank Doing Business 2017 Report Cover

Neoliberalism for All: The World Bank’s Doing Business 2017

Thursday, November 3, 2016 Alice Martin-Prével and Frédéric Mousseau

“Equal Opportunity for All” subtitles the annual Doing Business report released last month by the World Bank. The choice is rather cynical for an instrument that has become a key driver of the neoliberal reforms promoted by the Bank around the world...

Protestors in Delhi ask the World Bank to end Doing Business rankings, 2014. © Our Land Our Business / The Rules

Undemocratic and Unsustainable, the World Bank’s Vision for Agricultural Development Harms the Poorest

Monday, October 3, 2016 Alice Martin-Prével

As the World Bank’s Annual Meetings get underway in Washington, DC, a crucial theme is noticeably missing from its seminar series: agriculture. Does this imply that the Bank has become less involved in agricultural financing? The answer is no. The World Bank is by far the main donor of agriculture, forestry, and fishing sectors in the developing countries, surpassing the United States and other G7 nations. If agriculture is not on the agenda,...

Failing to Address Land Rights Violations Caused by Its Own Programs, the World Bank Launches Its 17th Conference on Land and Poverty

Monday, March 14, 2016 Alice Martin-Prével

The 17th World Bank “Conference on Land and Poverty,” bringing together governments, academics, corporations, and NGOs, gets underway on March 14, 2016, in Washington DC. Last March, members of the Our Land Our Business campaign denounced the Conference as a sham. The Bank holds an annual conference on land and poverty whereas its policies such as the business indicators facilitate land grabs by forcing developing countries to adopt...

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Our Land Our Business Video

Right now, millions of people are being thrown off their land because large corporations are being given special rights. The World Bank is driving this trend with its Doing Business rankings.

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