For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Erin Jensen

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:

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!"

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."

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]

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.

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


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,

Blake, agrofuels campaigner, Friends of the Earth Europe, Tel:
+32 2 893 1017,

Fleet, communications officer for Friends of the Earth Europe, Tel:
+32 2 893 1012,


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


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

available in:





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