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This land is our land: GUE/NGL MEPs highlight how land acquisitions tear apart local communities

Date

25 Jun 2013

Sections

Agriculture & Food
Sustainable Dev.

In a bid to draw attention to the destructive effects corporate driven agriculture and transnational companies' actions have on small and medium-size farmers, landless people, indigenous people, migrants and agricultural workers, three GUE/NGL MEPs are today co-hosting a conference on land issues in Europe.

Willy Meyer (Spain), João Ferreira (Portugal), and Patrick Le Hyaric (France) will speak at the event, titled 'Land Issues in Europe: From Land Grabbing to Land Reform' and organised in cooperation with European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC), the European wing of Via Campesina, an international movement that defends small-scale sustainable agriculture as a way to promote social justice and dignity.

Over 100 participants will take part in the discussion on access to land, land concentration and land grabbing, as well as call into question both EU and national policies which are not providing equal access to land or helping small-scale farmers.

Willy Meyer commented: "Despite the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) publishing guidelines on Land, Fisheries and Forests in May 2012, the EU and the member states have done little to promote their implementation. While these guidelines definitely fall short on certain aspects of land and water grabbing, they do represent an important first step towards protecting peoples' rights to land."

João Ferreira highlighted that land grabbing is an issue that touches on many EU policy areas such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Trade Policy: "As a result of these policies, food production and distribution is becoming ever more concentrated and food sovereignty and food security are increasingly threatened."

Patrick Le Hyaric added: "Big corporations are selling land that they describe as 'unused' when in fact this land is being used by poor families to grow their own food. As such the families are pushed off their land into destitution. We simply can't accept this."

The conference takes place today (25 June) from 9:00 to 12:30 in the European Parliament. 

You can watch the event online here.

 

 

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