Blog

The blog is a place where GRAIN staff and others post their comments, suggestions, hints and assessments of documents, places or events. Or just share information that we think is interesting.

Villagers in Sierra Leone ponder their future after winning their lands back from a palm oil company

Villagers in Port Loko District, Sierra Leone are celebrating. After nearly a decade of struggling against a company that grabbed their lands and erected oil palm plantations, a court has ruled that the lands must be given back to the communities. Now they are trying to figure out what they should do with the large areas of lands that have been occupied by rows and rows of oil palms.  

Villagers in Port Loko District, Sierra Leone are celebrating. After nearly a decade of struggling against a company that grabbed their lands and erected oil palm plantations, a court has ruled that the lands must be given back to the communities. Now they are trying to figure out what they should do with the large areas of lands that have been occupied by rows and rows of oil palms.  

Peasants rights victory in New York

Congratulations to Via Campesina and allies for the adoption of the Peasant Rights Declaration at the UN in New York!

Congratulations to Via Campesina and allies for the adoption of the Peasant Rights Declaration at the UN in New York!

GMO cotton failure in Burkina Faso: Farmers speak out

For two years, over 500 farmers from the different cotton-growing regions in Burkina Faso documented their experience with Monsanto’s Bt cotton. This three-year farmer-led research initiative, called “Bt Cotton and Us: The Truth from our Fields,” provides an important counterbalance, as Burkina Faso was the first country in West Africa to adopt genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and industry often lauds its success when promoting GMOs in other countries.   

For two years, over 500 farmers from the different cotton-growing regions in Burkina Faso documented their experience with Monsanto’s Bt cotton. This three-year farmer-led research initiative, called “Bt Cotton and Us: The Truth from our Fields,” provides an important counterbalance, as Burkina Faso was the first country in West Africa to adopt genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and industry often lauds its success when promoting GMOs in other countries.   

Only the soil can free us

Why agricultural change is political change. Take the case of farmers in Burkina Faso.  

Why agricultural change is political change. Take the case of farmers in Burkina Faso.  

Pathways out of the climate chaos

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial is feasible. And it is our best hope of achieving environmental and social justice, of containing the impacts of a global crisis that was born out of historical injustice and highly unequal responsibility. An excellent piece by Silvia Ribeiro of the ETC Group, showing why we need 'radical realism' to fight the climata crisis, not artificial and dangerous technofixes.

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial is feasible. And it is our best hope of achieving environmental and social justice, of containing the impacts of a global crisis that was born out of historical injustice and highly unequal responsibility. An excellent piece by Silvia Ribeiro of the ETC Group, showing why we need 'radical realism' to fight the climata crisis, not artificial and dangerous technofixes.

Orphans of the Land

A great documentary film about resettlement of communities in Mozambique who had to make way for the Limpopo National Park. People facing resettlement are filled with hope for a better life. Although some  families find prosperity after resettlement, as orphans of the land, villages lose autonomy to make decisions about the natural resources on which their livelihoods and social cohesion depend.  Based on four years research, this film puts names and faces to the people who are being displaced from their land to make room for a national park.

A great documentary film about resettlement of communities in Mozambique who had to make way for the Limpopo National Park. People facing resettlement are filled with hope for a better life. Although some  families find prosperity after resettlement, as orphans of the land, villages lose autonomy to make decisions about the natural resources on which their livelihoods and social cohesion depend.  Based on four years research, this film puts names and faces to the people who are being displaced from their land to make room for a national park.

Open letter - Brazilian civil society recommendations for the 14th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its protocols

We, Brazilian peasants, family farmers, indigenous peoples, traditional peoples and communities, community scientists, social and trade union movements and urban groups, aware of the themes to be discussed at COP14, hereby manifest our position.   

We, Brazilian peasants, family farmers, indigenous peoples, traditional peoples and communities, community scientists, social and trade union movements and urban groups, aware of the themes to be discussed at COP14, hereby manifest our position.   

Corporate control and food sovereignty: issues and ways forward

On 24 July 2018, Focus on the Global South, ETC Group, and the Chulalongkorn University Research Institute (CUSRI) organized a forum in Bangkok on corporate concentration in agriculture and food, and its implications on food sovereignty in South East Asia. The forum brought speakers from a number of national, regional and international organisations, and the audience of around 60 individuals comprised representatives from social movements, civil society organisations, academia, and the general public.

On 24 July 2018, Focus on the Global South, ETC Group, and the Chulalongkorn University Research Institute (CUSRI) organized a forum in Bangkok on corporate concentration in agriculture and food, and its implications on food sovereignty in South East Asia. The forum brought speakers from a number of national, regional and international organisations, and the audience of around 60 individuals comprised representatives from social movements, civil society organisations, academia, and the general public.

Agroecology for Africa

  A great animated video explains why agroecology is right for Africa. By AFSA

  A great animated video explains why agroecology is right for Africa. By AFSA

Seeds of resistance, harvests of hope: farmers halt a land grab in Mozambique

On July 26, 2018, farmers in Xai-Xai, Mozambique, achieved a milestone. They met to formalize their new farmers’ association, elect leaders, and prepare a petition to the local government for land. The association, christened Tsakane, which means “happy” in the local Changana language, was the culmination of six years of resistance to a Chinese land grab that had sparked protest and outrage. The association now has a request pending for its own land. An encouraging story by Timothy A. Wise

On July 26, 2018, farmers in Xai-Xai, Mozambique, achieved a milestone. They met to formalize their new farmers’ association, elect leaders, and prepare a petition to the local government for land. The association, christened Tsakane, which means “happy” in the local Changana language, was the culmination of six years of resistance to a Chinese land grab that had sparked protest and outrage. The association now has a request pending for its own land. An encouraging story by Timothy A. Wise

Civil society letter to UNCITRAL on ISDS reforms

More than 300 civil society organizations from 73 countries urge fundamental reform at UNCITRAL’s investor-state dispute settlement discussions

More than 300 civil society organizations from 73 countries urge fundamental reform at UNCITRAL’s investor-state dispute settlement discussions

ING finances controversial palm oil companies in spite of sustainability policy

As ING launches its sustainable investment campaign, a civil society coalition from Belgium and the Netherlands calls upon ING to clean up their act. ING’s financing of controversial palm oil companies such as SOCFIN is far from sustainable.

As ING launches its sustainable investment campaign, a civil society coalition from Belgium and the Netherlands calls upon ING to clean up their act. ING’s financing of controversial palm oil companies such as SOCFIN is far from sustainable.

World Hunger Day: #ZeroHunger is possible with food sovereignty, agroecology and people’s right to development

Today, October 16, the world led by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is celebrating the World Food Day under the theme “A #ZeroHunger world by 2030 is possible”. But for many people, most ironically those who directly produce the world’s food, there is nothing to celebrate. For them, what should be marked today instead is “World Hunger Day” to protest the grim reality faced by countless families around the world, especially in the poor countries and in the rural areas.

Today, October 16, the world led by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is celebrating the World Food Day under the theme “A #ZeroHunger world by 2030 is possible”. But for many people, most ironically those who directly produce the world’s food, there is nothing to celebrate. For them, what should be marked today instead is “World Hunger Day” to protest the grim reality faced by countless families around the world, especially in the poor countries and in the rural areas.

We feed the world

Great talk by Jyoti Fernandez of the Landworkers Alliance on the opening night of the We Feed the World exhibition reminding us of the role we all can all play in standing up for a fairer food and farming system.

Great talk by Jyoti Fernandez of the Landworkers Alliance on the opening night of the We Feed the World exhibition reminding us of the role we all can all play in standing up for a fairer food and farming system.

ANZ bank issued rare rebuke by Australian oversight body

ANZ Banking Group violated its own policies and international human rights standards by financing a Cambodian sugar company that seized land from local farmers, according to a statement released today by an Australian government body that monitors corporate behavior overseas. In a rare rebuke of a commercial bank, the Australian National Contact Point found it “difficult to reconcile” ANZ’s decision to finance Phnom Penh Sugar with the bank’s internal rules and the OECD Guidelines, an ethical business code that the Australian government has endorsed.  

ANZ Banking Group violated its own policies and international human rights standards by financing a Cambodian sugar company that seized land from local farmers, according to a statement released today by an Australian government body that monitors corporate behavior overseas. In a rare rebuke of a commercial bank, the Australian National Contact Point found it “difficult to reconcile” ANZ’s decision to finance Phnom Penh Sugar with the bank’s internal rules and the OECD Guidelines, an ethical business code that the Australian government has endorsed.