The Netherlands and the global land and water grab

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Transnational Institute | 25 September 2012

The Netherlands and the global land and water grab

All around the globe, peasants, pastoralists, fishers’ communities, rural women and indigenous peoples are losing their once effective control over significant areas of the world’s land, water, wetlands, pasturelands, fisheries and forests – including their right to decide how these natural resources will be used, when and by whom, at what scale and for what purposes, for generations to come. This control is being captured through numerous mechanisms by various configurations of actors (foreign and domestic) from corporate and financial capital, to host governments, to local elites.

Although these appropriations are often framed as positive investments benefitting rural development, in reality this process constitutes a new wave of land and water ‘grabbing’: a global phenomenon whereby the access, use and right to land and other closely associated natural resources is being taken over - on a large-scale and/or by large-scale capital – resulting in a cascade of negative impacts on rural livelihoods and ecologies, human rights, and local food security. Land and water grabbing must therefore be immediately stopped.

This Fact Sheet examines the involvement of The Netherlands in global land and water grabbing. The Netherlands is an interesting case to explore for despite claims made by the Dutch government that The Netherlands is not involved in land grabbing, considerable evidence shows that Dutch investors are implicated. This Fact Sheet highlights two main aspects: i) direct financing by Dutch investors in land deals with negative consequences for local rural communities and ecologies, and ii ) the Dutch government’s endorsement of various corporate self-regulation schemes, investment codes, development and trade policies which have created an enabling environment for further land grabbing to occur. The Fact Sheet ends with a set of concrete demands directed towards the Dutch state and private investors to stop their involvement in land grabbing and respect the Right to Food.

Original source: TNI
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