Land grabbing

Companies, states and investors are taking huge amounts of land from local communities – mainly across in Africa, South America and South East Asia. This is known as land grabbing.

Did you know?

Up to 500 million acres are thought to have been grabbed so far, much of it in Africa. This is the equivalent to 8 times the size of the UK.

Projects that acquire land are often promoted as bringing development. But in reality they:

  • Ignore traditional rights to land, displace local communities and ruin livelihoods
  • Replace local food crops with biofuels, industry or crops for export, meaning there is less food for local people
  • Destroy the environment by felling forests and using polluting chemicals in industrial farming
  • Often violate human rights.

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Produce my food fairly!

Friends of the Earth is campaigning for regulations that stop land grabbing and for more support for communities’ rights to land, water and forests.

The money trail

Investors such as pension funds and high street banks are putting more money into land in developing countries, which means sometimes they are bankrolling land grabbing.

…giving land away to investors... will result in a type of farming that will have much less powerful poverty-reducing impacts than if access to land and water were improved for the local farming communities

UN Special rapporteur on the Right to Food

Friends of the Earth is:

  • Highlighting the issues to make sure the public’s money is not funding land grabs
  • Urging UK investors to address the problem
  • Pushing for public investment in food sovereignty and agro-ecology which will help to feed the world and protect our land, water and forests.  

Definition of food sovereignty

Food sovereignty focuses on providing healthy, local food rather than on corporate profit. It promotes farming that’s good for the environment and places local people at the centre of decision making.