News, Analysis and research on Land Reform and Agrarian Change around the world
Smallholder agriculture is the foundation of Myanmar’s culture, and the bedrock of the nation’s local and national economies as well as food security. The country’s poetry, literature and art all reflect the prominent role of rural farming life.
9 October, 2012, Burma/Myanmar
The current reforms in Burma/Myanmar are worsening land grabs in the country. Since the mid-2000s there has been a spike in land grabs, especially leading up to the 2010 national elections. Military and government authorities have been granting large-scale land concessions to well-connected Burmese companies.
Since first being announced a decade ago, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has been heralded as a revolutionary solution to corruption and related difficulties that extractive industries bring to developing countries. While it could be argued that the EITI provides information that can be useful for well-intentioned policy- makers and others, claims that the EITI provides levels of transparency that are needed to truly address corruption, let alone a device that can address larger problems presented by resource extraction, are grossly overstating EITI’s limited benefits. By limiting the discussion to transparency of government revenue and in-country company payments, EITI overlooks essential issues, from whether resource extraction is worth the human and environmental impacts, to how to distribute resource revenues.
This report aims to contribute to a better understanding of the implications of soybean production. To that end, it compiles and analyzes specific data on land and pesticide use in the main soybean producing countries of the Southern Cone of South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
This document is based on statistics that has been generated by national official bodies, specialized institutions, and organizations that produce first hand data on soybean cultivation. Statistics from the United Nations Program on Food and Agriculture (FAO) and complementary information reported in published literature have also been included.
The findings of this report points out the more comprehensive analysis of the implications of soybean cultivation is required to assess the real ecological and social costs of its production in the Americas.
We have been meeting here in Bukit Tinggi, West Sumatra, Indonesia, from July 10 to 15, 2012, for the International Workshop and Seminar “Agrarian Reform and Defense of Land and Territory in the 21st Century: The Challenge and the Future,” convened by La Via Campesina and the Global Campaign for Agrarian Reform, in the midst of a global emergency caused by the multiple crises of food, climate, finance, poverty and unemployment. We have been evaluating our strategies and lessons learned during the last two decades of struggles for agrarian reform, and the defense of the lands and territories of our peoples.
Opening Pandora’s Box: The New Wave of Land Grabbing by Extractive Industries and the Devastating Impact on Earth, was launched in Westminster on Wednesday 29th February