Susanne Posel, Contributor
The Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) is a non-governmental organization (NGO) based out of Washington, D.C.
The RRI encourage forest protection and policy reforms within the forest economy.
They work alongside development agendas under the guise of supporting local livelihoods. Nations with the agenda of installing regional and global initiatives to collaborate research, advocacy and implementing strategic actions that reflect sustainability.
In February of this year , RRI was involved in the land grab initiative in which 500 million residents of the sub-Saharan region of Africa was targeted for its 3.46 billion acres of farmland. Foreign governments and investors purchased this land to produce food that would not be used to feed the African people, but rather sold to countries like the US for profit.
In a 2011 report, the International Land Coalition (ILC), a global network of civil society and farmers’ organizations, estimated the global rush for land demanded 494 million acres in sub-Saharan Africa in 2000-10. ILC descended upon West Africa, where land acquisitions by foreign corporations and governments were causing environmental and agricultural devastation along the River Niger, in Africa.
“The siphoning of water for huge areas of farmland will worsen the already low water levels of the Niger,” the report said. The outcome was a “50 percent diminution of the delta flood plain’s land area. Given that social conflict over resources between farmers and pastoralists has always been a feature of the Niger Basin, the Coalition suggests that large-scale irrigation could heighten tension between local and downstream water users.”
Land grabs were said to be the causation of the 2007-08 world food price crisis; as countries like oil-rich Saudi Arabia and South Korea bought or leased massive tracts of land in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The RRI will be speaking at the UN Earth Summit Rio+20 next month where they will discuss politically motivated land reforms.
The UN themselves have enacted global guidelines on purchasing agricultural land from developing nations like Africa and Asia.
Nations like Ethiopia, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone, in Africa have “voluntarily” signed agreements with multinational corporations and foreign investors, allowing them to control agricultural land. The nation’s leaders believe that giving access to their resources will benefit their people; however, this is just another manipulative ploy to coercively acquire control over land, food production and securitization.
Once agreements are signed, the land and the people are indebted to the UN for slave labor to work the land and watch their resources being reallocated to other countries for consumption. The promise of investment and technological advancement are just the hook to convince leaders to sign away the rights of their people and their land.
President Barack Obama supports the UN’s land grab scheme with the installation of his $3 billion plan to securitize Africa’s food supply and agricultural farms. Obama wants to use Africa as a base for growing the world’s food supply, under his controlled initiatives.
Over the last decade, the UN has “acquired” an area of land in Africa and Asia the size of Great Britain.
Partners of the RRI directly engage in land grab schemes under the guise of forest policy reform in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The study conducted by the RRI focused on China, India, and Brazil, and deforestation’s impact on sustainability.
Deforestation is assumed to produce 20% of the CO2 released into the atmosphere.
Like in communities in America, the Agenda 21 policies are dispersed on a local level, as the RRI point out that in China’s Tenchong area, the residents vote on forest management or individual maintenance.
Reforms in China are seen as a blueprint as Agenda 21 slowly infiltrates the Asian nation.
“In Asia, most governments continue to deny local land rights and to promote economic activities that result in deforestation. Forests in the region are being depleted, communities are losing their homelands, and corruption is common,” the RRI report says.
RRI has identified Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia as violators of the new biodiversity protocols as deforestation has extended to “ancient old growth forests”.
Andy White, RRI coordinator stressed that reforms need to be in place to “protect local resident’s rights” however he also asserts that: “Land rights have to be secure for development to be sustainable.” The standard of sustainability is clearly defined in the UN’s documents concerning biodiversity and Agenda 21 Sustainable Development.
While many world leaders have declined attend the UN Earth Summit this year, conservationists like the Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) program are concerned their proposals on the reformation of land rights will not be heard.
REDD is an international program that allocates funds to nations that want to cut emissions while adhering to predisposed forest governance regulations, commitment to biodiversity and supposed rights of indigenous people, while maintaining land rights be redistributed to responsible groups in land-grab-style acquisition.
White contends: “Unless the land issue is addressed, we are not going to make progress on REDD, global warming or even poverty.”
REDD provides “incentives” to make sure forests are not cut down.
REDD has run across difficulties in China, as the public regularly protests the land grab schemes referred to as “maintaining local land rights”. To justify their land grab policies, REDD is promoting the Tengchong region as an example of successful land allocation that supports sustainability.
Africa is a focus for land-grabbing schemes as the issue of land rights has been largely ignored by agribusinesses and global investment funds that infiltrate public land holdings, according to White.
Susanne Posel is the Chief Editor of Occupy Corporatism. Our alternative news site is dedicated to reporting the news as it actually happens; not as it is spun by the corporately funded mainstream media. You can find us on our Facebook page.