1402 Visit to the UK Antenna

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AEFJN policy officer Jose Luis Gutierrez Aranda participated at the meeting of the UK Antenna in February 2014 to present the campaign for a Moratorium on land grabbing that AEFJN will launch soon. The meeting was chaired by Anne Hogan.


The morning started with a prayer prepared by Ted Wildsmith. Mrs Christine Haigh from the World Development Movement (WDM) gave a talk on land seized by governments and multinational firms, highlighting how it exacerbates climate change, agro-industrial take-over of small family farms, favours financial speculation on food which raises food prices and increases hunger and migration.  


After lunch, Jose Luis spoke about the campaign for a five-year moratorium on Land grabbing that the AEFJN Secretariat is initiating. A 5-year moratorium will mean that all activities related to large scale land acquisitions (LSLA) for agriculture in its various forms will be suspended for that time. The moratorium campaign is trying to gather together organizations and people that are concerned for those who are affected by the grabbing of large areas of land. It will take place at national and international level. 


The campaign will be directed first at national governments so that during the 5-year moratorium countries have time to establish and adopt binding legislation for agricultural investments at home or abroad. These could, for instance, be based on the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on Tenure of Land. The campaign will also target international organizations that have a say in the policies that favour land grabbing. In countries where land is being grabbed the campaign will also invite governments to adopt a simplified land reform so that farmers can own the land they cultivate.


Many questions were raised about the complexity of the issue: How can we get statistics on land grabbing when governments hide them under the label of Aid? Can we have achievable aims in this vast field? How can we raise awareness in local communities and unemployed youth? How can we pressure MPs to see how migration and armed conflict are consequences of land grabbing? How can we affect legal treaties between EU and African governments? How can foreign governments who pollute African areas being persecuted?

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