Take Action Against Land Grabs: Tuesday, April 24 at the Waldorf-Astoria
Protest the Selling of Africa through the Land Grab Taking Place at the Global AgInvesting Conference in NYC
Meet at 10:30 am
Waldorf-Astoria, 301 Park Ave
Join food justice activists, African students, OWS groups, and environmental organizations challenging agricultural investment that harms people at the Global AgInvesting (GAI) conference.
1. WHY ARE WE GATHERING IN FRONT OF THE WALDORF-ASTORIA HOTEL ON APRIL 24? Inside the hotel, nearly a thousand representatives of pension funds, university and foundation endowments, private equity firms, hedge funds and other high rollers have gathered together to figure how to make huge returns through grabbing land and water rights in the developing world.
2. WHAT IS A LAND GRAB? Land grab is the purchase or lease of vast tracts of land from mostly poor, developing countries by wealthier food-insecure nations and private investors. Such land deals take away arable land at give away prices and huge tax holidays to the investors, while displacing those who live there. This land is used to grow food for export, or agro fuels, or cut flowers or even left fallow for speculative gains
3. WHO DOES IT BENEFIT? Those who sit inside the Waldorf – private equity and hedge funds who are promising high returns, some even claim returns between 20-40%.
4. WHO SUFFERS? The woman, men, and children who are displaced – often indigenous communities and other already living on the periphery of political power, are forced to leave their ancestral lands, move to the cities without jobs, and essentially lose their communities. They suffer the most. In Tanzania, a U.S. investor’s land deal will displace over 160,000 small-holder farmers in 2012. 1.5 million people in Ethiopia are being forcibly relocated for similar large-scale agricultural investments.
5. HOW BIG IS THIS? Land the size of France was bought or leased by foreign interests in 2009 alone, with majority of it being in Africa. In other words millions and millions of acres are already leased or under negotiation.
6 . HOW IS THIS DONE? Without transparency or accountability to all who are impacted by this issue. This is inviolation of the internationally recognized principle of Free and Prior Informed Consent which should guide such investments.
7. CAN THIS BE STOPPED? Local communities have managed to stop several land deals in Africa and elsewhere. Opposition in the US by civil society and student groups has forced investors and their partners to pull out of deals as well.
GET INFORMED, TAKE ACTION. STOP LAND GRABS.
Jeff Furman, [email protected]
Anuradha Mittal, [email protected]