World Bank Land Grab Report Comment: Biofuels Cause Land Grabs

For Immediate Release

World Bank Land Grab Report Comment: Biofuels Cause Land Grabs

BRUSSELS - Commenting on a new World Bank report
published today in which the Bank backs the practice of nations
selling vast agricultural lands to foreign investors [1], Mariann
Bassey, African food and agriculture coordinator for Environmental
Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria said:

"Rural
communities and the environment in poor countries are being ignored
in the rush for our land and resources. This is a problem that has
been created by rich nations and is being pursued with relentless
speed by overseas companies across the global south. The world has
got to say stop to land grabbing!"

Mariann
Bassey added: "A clear cause of land grabs is the demand for
biofuels. This demand is transforming our natural resources into fuel
crops, taking away food-growing farmland, and creating conflicts with
local people over land ownership. We are suffering just so that
Europe and developed nations can fuel their cars and lorries."

Last
week Friends of the Earth released new research showing that the
scale of land grabbing in Africa for biofuel production was
underestimated and out of control. [2]

The
research found evidence that 5 million hectares of land, an area the
size of Denmark, across 11 African countries, is currently being
acquired for biofuels.

Even
more land will be required for biofuels if the European Union is to
reach its target of 10% of transport fuels from renewable sources by
2020.

FOR MORE
INFORMATION

Mariann
Bassey, Food and Agrofuels Program Manager Environmental Rights
Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria and Food and Agrofuels
Coordinator Friends of the Earth Africa, Tel: +234 7034 495940,
annybassi@yahoo.com

Robbie
Blake, agrofuels campaigner, Friends of the Earth Europe, Tel:
+32 2 893 1017, robbie.blake@foeeurope.org

Sam
Fleet, communications officer for Friends of the Earth Europe, Tel:
+32 2 893 1012, samuel.fleet@foeeurope.org

NOTES TO
EDITORS

[1]
The World Bank report "Rising
Global Interest in Farmland" can be found on

http://www.worldbank.org

[2]

The
report Friends of the Earth Europe (2010, August). Africa: Up For
Grabs is online at :

http://www.foeeurope.org/agrofuels/FoEE_Africa_up_for_grabs_2010.pdf

Also
available in:

French:

http://www.foeeurope.org/agrofuels/FoEE_Africa_up_for_grabs_2010_FRENCH.pdf

 Spanish:

http://www.foeeurope.org/agrofuels/FoEE_Africa_up_for_grabs_2010_SPANISH.pdf

German

http://www.foeeurope.org/agrofuels/FoEE_Africa_up_for_grabs_2010_GERMAN.pdf

###

Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.

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