Working towards greater community control over land, forests and natural resources

Posts Tagged ‘international’

Biofuels in SE Asia threaten rights of indigenous people

Reuters, May 23, 2012

Large-scale crop plantations are expanding at a rapid pace across southeast Asia, with multinational firms often benefiting the most at the expense of local communities and the environment, two U.N. rights experts warned on Wednesday. Demand for agrofuels, such as those derived from sugar cane and palm oil, has boomed thanks in part to the United States, Europe and other rich economies seeking alternative ways to fuel their cars and homes in order to reduce their carbon emissions.

Foreign land grab threat not just an illusion

Bangkok Post, May 24, 2012.

Remember the news three years ago about some Saudi sheikhs trying to buy up paddy fields in central Thailand to ensure a steady rice supply for their oil-rich but food-scarce countries? Back then, the authorities could not deliver any evidence of the buy-ups, and blamed foreign men with Thai wives for purchasing local land through proxy ownership. That’s why I thought the brouhaha was simply a case of xenophobia. Now, I am not so sure. Thanks to research by farmers rights group GRAIN on worldwide farmland grabs, I couldn’t help wondering if the scapegoating was a ploy to shift public attention from the real culprits.

Cambodia suspends land concessions

Mongabay.com, May 07, 2012

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announced today that Cambodia would be temporarily suspending new economic land concessions and would revoke any concessions from companies involved in illegal logging, the evictions of locals or land-grabbing. The announcement comes two week after the high-profile death of local forest activist, Chut Wutty, who was shot and killed by military police while investigating illegal logging with two journalists.

New international land deals database reveals rush to buy up Africa

Guardian,

Almost 5% of Africa’s agricultural land has been bought or leased by investors since 2000, according to an international coalition of researchers and NGOs that has released the world’s largest public database of international land deals. The database, launched on Thursday, lifts the lid on a decade of secretive deals struck by governments, investors and speculators seeking large tracts of fertile land in developing countries around the world.

Regional contract-farming deal secures rubber market

Vientiane Times, April 10, 2012

A contract-farming pact was signed recently between five countries, with China set to purchase large quantities of rubber from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. Harvesting is underway on some rubber plantations in Laos, with more expected in the years to come. The agreement will provide greater certainty in the rubber market with China set to buy 500,000 tonnes of smoked rubber and rubber sheets from the four countries, worth more than 14,000 billion kip (about 56.8 billion baht), Thailand’s The Nation newspaper reported.

ASEAN Civil Society Conference of Peoples’ Forum 2012 in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh, 31 March, 2012

 More than 1,200 delegates representing various civil society organizations and movements  gathered together in Phnom Penh for the 2012 ASEAN Civil Society Conference / Peoples’  Forum (ACSC/APF) on 29-31 March 2012. The conference discussed issues under the  theme “Transforming ASEAN into a People Centered Community”. Major issues were  about land rights, forests, extractive industries, hydropower, as well as freedom of  expression and association.

UN Voluntary Guidelines for Land Tenure and Access Rights to Land, Fisheries and Forests

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations has coordinated the preparation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Land Tenure and Access Rights to Land, Fisheries and Forests, approved by 96 countries on March 14, 2012.  The Guidelines’ purpose is to improve the governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests.

EU tightens timber import regulations

Vientiane Times, March 14, 2012

The European Union will not allow any timber products originating from illegal sources to enter its markets once new timber legislation comes into force next year. Chargé Affaires of the EU Delegation to Laos Mr Michel Goffin made this clear to Vientiane Times during a visit yesterday to Burapha Agro Forestry Co., Ltd (BAFCO) in Saen-oudom village, Xaythany district, Vientiane. “The EU market will only be open to legally sourced wood so if people are cutting wood illegally, it won’t be exported to Europe,” he said.

Mongolia to get 10,000 ha for rice production

UB Post, February 29, 2012

Laos and Mongolia look to cooperate beyond politics.

Chairman of the National Assembly of Lao People’s Democratic Republic Mrs. Pany Yathotou came in Mongolia on February 25 by the invitation of the State Great Khural’s Speaker D. Demberel. Mrs. Pany Yathotou visited a herder family in Lun Sum of Tuv Province  to get acquainted with Mongolian traditional living and the tradition of Tsagaan Sar. The official visit continued with a showing of respect at the Chinggis Khaan Monument.The State Great Khural Speaker received Mrs. Pany Yathotou after she signed a book of respect.

Expert cautions on ‘land grab’ model

Myanmar Times, February 27, 2012

A visiting land expert has warned against falling for the “dominant model” of land grabbing, which sees small-scale farmers replaced by agri-businesses that are in many cases less productive. Mr Robin Palmer, who has worked on land issues for more than 35 years as both an academic and for British NGO Oxfam, said last week that population pressures and the increasing consumption of meat and dairy products in developing countries were often used to justify plantation farming, with peasant farmers and traditional pastoralists dismissed as “romantic nonsense”.

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