- Sustainable Economic Systems
- New graphic novel from Oakland Institute draws back the curtain on African land grabs
New graphic novel from Oakland Institute draws back the curtain on African land grabs
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Our work to defend tropical forests against the expansion of the palm oil industry is rooted in a broader effort to fight land grabbing — the large scale acquisition of land by industries and governments that too often forces subsistence farmers, indigenous peoples and other land-based people off their land and puts their land into the service of extractive industries, industrial agriculture, or financial speculation. So we’re pleased to share My Home, My Land, a new graphic novel by our friends at the Oakland Institute, that calls on us to take action to stop exploitative land grabs.
Illustrated by the Oakland Institute’s Intern Scholar, Abner Hauge, My Home, My Land dismantles the myths promoted by so-called donor countries, development agencies, and corporations about the positive effects of foreign direct investments through large-scale land acquisitions. Rather than benefiting local people, the graphic novel argues, “Industrial agriculture plantations transform farmers and Indigenous Peoples into low-paid farm workers while rendering many more landless and jobless.”
Several of the cases we are working on at Friends of the Earth fit this pattern — whether it is the land grab in Uganda that has led local farmers to file a lawsuit against a palm oil joint venture or a land grab in Indonesia that has forced small farmers into open conflict with industry. Concern about land grabs is the basis of our warnings to financiers and of our concern that investors like Dimensional Fund Advisors are putting both public and private money toward unsavory ends.
The argument in favor of land grabs is that putting land at the service of foreign investment will reward African nations with growth and development, and reward the world with health, energy, and food. But as the graphic novel argues, “none of the companies and investors’ claims about the benefits of land deals and development are true.”
Download My Home, My Land here.
Watch the video version of My Home, My Land here.