Publications

Reports

Carbon Colonialism Report Cover
Carbon Colonialism: Failure of Green Resources’ Carbon Offset Project in Uganda exposes the continued and relentless attacks of Green Resources on the rights of local people and the environment in Kachung, Uganda. Following the Institute’s exposé in 2014, revealing the mistreatment and violence perpetrated by the company in Uganda, Green Resources’ only carbon credit...
From Anin to Zbuba Report Cover
Across the West Bank, farmers lost their land, livelihoods, and even their ability to visit their families when the separation wall was constructed. Under occupation, they also face massive water shortages as Israel diverts water from the Jordan River and the West Bank’s own Mountain Aquifer to Israel and its settlements. Controlling land and water. This is what the occupation is about.
Aida Report Cover
The Palestinian refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are the largest and longest-standing case of displaced persons in the world today. Approximately 8 million out of 12.1 million Palestinians worldwide are forcibly displaced persons (66 percent). This number includes more than 6 million refugees and their descendants from 1948; more than one million 1967 refugees; and 720,000 IDPs on both sides of the Green Line (1949 armistice...
Life in the Rubble Cover
In the village of Anata, northeast of Jerusalem, the home of Arabiya and Salim Shawamreh has been demolished seven times by the Israeli authorities. It is one of over 14,000 demolition orders issued between 1988 and 2014 against Palestinian-owned structures located in Area C of the West Bank.
Bulldozers and Enclosures Cover
Israel has brought large swaths of the Naqab desert (Negev in Hebrew) under cultivation. Onions, peppers, asparagus, eggplants, zucchini, Negev tomatoes with a one-month shelf life, peanuts, melons, cantaloupe, and even cotton make the desert green. But Israel’s efforts to further intensify agriculture in the desert face one obstacle – the semi-nomadic Arab Bedouins...
Jadu'I: The Lost Watermelon of Jenin, Cover
Jenin is a city located in the northern West Bank where Palestinian farmers used to grow the ba'al succulent watermelon known as Jadu'I.  Under the occupation, the Jadu'I was nearly lost. But today, a new generation of agriculturalists are trying to revive it....
The Struggle for Nabi Salih report cover
Nabi Salih is a small village with 600 residents located in central West Bank, around 20 kilometers northwest of Ramallah. Since 2009, the villagers have been holding weekly nonviolent marches to protest the Israeli occupation.
Legalizing Dispossession Cover
Israel’s land laws and military orders have “legalized” the dispossession and expropriation of Palestinian land for decades. This brief offers a short history of the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, followed by an examination of how government laws, plans, and actions in both Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory have allowed Israel to seize Palestinian land...
Hebron: Life Under Siege cover
“The Israeli soldiers ask for my papers. I am turned away at the security point that blocks off Shuhada Street, which is open to the Israeli Jews and foreign visitors, but closed to the Palestinians. I do not have my US passport on me.”...
Homelessness: The Fault in "American Greatness" report cover
Across Oakland and Berkeley, tent camps are sprouting near BART tracks and underpasses. As rents skyrocket in the Bay Area, California working class communities are disproportionately affected. ...
Canaan Palestine: Cover
Caanan Palestine helps Palestinian farmers to grow organic crops and get fair trade certification. Improved market access and increased returns on their crops makes it possible for thousands of Palestinian farmers and their families to earn a better living. The project gives hope for the future of food producers living and working under Israeli occupation.
Unjust Enrichment: How the IFC Profits from Land Grabbing in Africa
Unjust Enrichment: How the IFC Profits from Land Grabbing in Africa, released by Inclusive Development International, Bank Information Center, Accountability Counsel, Urgewald and the Oakland Institute shows how the World Bank Group has indirectly financed some of Africa’s most notorious land grabs. The World Bank’s private-sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), is enabling and profiting from these...
Justice Denied: Resettlement, Demilitarization, and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka
Justice Denied exposes the many issues that continue to plague land release and resettlement in the country, and the failure of the Sri Lankan government to fulfill its international commitments to transitional justice. The Sri Lankan military continues to occupy large quantities of land; land released by the government is often of poor quality, hindering the ability...
Illegal Logging Papua New Guinea:  Taking On the Logging Pirates Report Cover
A landmark report from the Oakland Institute, Taking On the Logging Pirates: Land Defenders in Papua New Guinea Speak Out! elevates the voices of communities across the country who are opposing the theft of their land, made possible by the corrupt practices of local officials and foreign companies.
Image Credit: Doug Blackmon, Erik Prince, Ann Hagedorn; Aftermath of of the Endless War; 4/15/15; by Miller Center, used under CC BY-SA 2.0 / Cropped from original, background gradient applied.
The Return of Erik Prince: Trump’s Knight in America’s New Crusade? a new brief from the Oakland Institute, exposes the comeback of the founder of Blackwater, the notorious private security company. An ardent detractor of Obama/Clinton foreign policy during the presidential campaign, Prince is now set with access to unique assets, to be a key player in Trump’s foreign policy. Using information not seen before, the brief...

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Policy Briefs

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...
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...
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...
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.
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...
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...
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...

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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”...

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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...
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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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,...

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Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Foreign direct investment in the country has more than doubled in past years, and the World Bank has been actively promoting foreign investment in the agricultural sector despite the numerous health, social, and environmental problems associated with industrial plantations in Nicaragua. One of the most damaging activities is the production of sugarcane for ethanol. The crop...

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Despite unreconciled tensions following the three-decade-long civil war, militarization of the state, human rights violations, and more than 200,000 civilians in displacement camps, the World Bank generously increased Sri Lanka’s ranking in the Doing Business assessment in recent years. During and after the war, the Sri Lankan military seized large tracts of land through forced evictions and by occupying land abandoned by civilians fleeing...
According to the World Bank, Guatemala is one of the countries most open to foreign direct investment (FDI). It is among the top ten global reformers, and the only country in Latin America to appear on the Doing Business 2014’s top reformers list. In the past four years, the government has made significant reforms to attract FDI. In the agricultural sector, increased FDI—due in part to the adoption of the Central American Free Trade Agreement...

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The Philippines is now hailed as a top ten reformer as a direct result of making economic, regulatory, and administrative policy changes following the advice and direction of the World Bank. As a result of these changes, in 2013 the Philippines became the third most popular destination for foreign investment in land in the world, with 5.2 million hectares acquired since 2006.

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