How to stop European money fuelling land grabbing overseas

Global Witness | 4 November 2016

 Peter Drury

Global Witness | 4 November 2016

Around the world, companies and speculators are engaged in a frantic rush for land. Millions of hectares are being bought up, citizens violently turfed off their land and critical ecosystems irrevocably damaged, in order to feed growing demand for fuel, food and raw materials. At its worst, this is fatal. According to Global Witness data, in 2015 more than three people were murdered a week defending their land, forests and waterways from theft and destructive industries – the deadliest year on record.

 A worrying number of land grabs in developing countries involve European companies or are backed by European money – from banks, equity and pension funds, for instance. Globally, the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands consistently rank high amongst the countries involved in large-scale overseas agribusiness investments, for example, which is a sector rife with abuse.


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