Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Media Contact:
Gaelle Gourmelon
Communications Director
Phone: +1 (202) 745-8092 x 510
Land "Grabbing" Grows as Agricultural Resources Dwindle
As global agricultural resources shrink or shift, countries are crossing borders to obtain new farmlands
Washington, DC---- Since 2000, more than 36 million hectares---- an area about the size of Japan---- has been purchased or leased by foreign entities, mostly for agricultural use. Today, nearly 15 million hectares more is under negotiation (
"Farmland is lost or degraded on every continent, while 'land grabbing'---- the purchase or lease of agricultural land by foreign interests---- has emerged as a threat to food security in several countries," writes Gary Gardner, contributing author of the Worldwatch Institute's State of the World 2015: Confronting Hidden Threats to Sustainability.
About half of grabbed land is intended exclusively for use in agriculture, while another 25 percent is intended for a mix of agricultural and other uses. (The land that is not used for agriculture is often used for forestry.) Land grabbing has surged since 2005 in response to a food price crisis and the growing demand for biofuels in the United States and the European Union. Droughts in the United States, Argentina, and Australia, has further driven interest in land overseas.
"Today, the FAO reports that essentially no additional suitable [agricultural] land remains in a belt around much of the middle of the planet," writes Gardner. As a result, the largest grabbers of land are often countries that need additional resources to meet growing demands.
Over half of the global grabbed land is in Africa, especially in water-rich countries like the Congo. Asia comes second, contributing over 6 million hectares, mainly from Indonesia. The largest area acquired from a single country is in Papua New Guinea, with nearly 4 million hectares (over 8 percent of the country's total land cover) sold or leased out.
The largest investor country is the United States, a country already rich in agricultural land. The United States alone has acquired about 7 million hectares worldwide. Malaysia comes in a distant second, with just over 3.5 million hectares acquired.
Land grabbing is precipitated by the growing challenges shaking the foundation of food production: the water, land, and climate that make crop growth possible. Globally, some 20 percent of aquifers are being pumped faster than they are recharged by rainfall, stressing many key food-producing areas. Land is becoming degraded through erosion and salinization or is getting paved for development. The changing climate is projected to cause a net decline of 0.2-- 2 percent in crop yields per decade over the remainder of the century, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The dangers of land grabbing are evident. Large-scale purchases often do not consider the interests of smallholders who may have been working the land over a long period. Additionally, the transfer of resources from poorer countries to wealthier ones increases the vulnerability of the target countries that surrender their own access to land and water resources to foreign investors and governments.
"As demand for agricultural goods increases, and as our planet's water and fertile land become more scarce and its atmosphere less stable, greater effort will be needed to conserve resources and to exploit opportunities for greater efficiency throughout the agricultural system," writes Gardner.
By preventing food waste, increasing water efficiency, conserving agricultural land, and decreasing production of meat and biofuels (both of which require large quantities of land and water for grain or crops), Gardner believes that the stress on food systems can be reduced. In addition, the international adoption of the right to food, already integrated in the constitutions of 28 countries, will ensure that food cannot be withheld for political reasons.

Worldwatch's State of the World 2015 investigates hidden threats to sustainability, including economic, political, and environmental challenges that are often underreported in the media. State of the World 2015 highlights the need to develop resilience to looming shocks. For more information on the project, visit

Note to EditorsTo schedule interviews, obtain a review copy of State of the World, or for more information, please contact Gaelle Gourmelon at


Hoping you are doing well. Please find below the Media Invite for Junior NBA 'Train The Trainers' Initiative on Friday October 9, 2015 at the Mothers International School, Shri Aurobindo Marg, Hauz Khas.  MD NBA India Mr. Yannick Colaco and Senior Director NBA India Mr. Carlos Barocca will be present for interaction.

We request you to kindly grace the event.

Thank you

I am a Rajya Sabha MP and I want to keep our children safe. Your signature will help convince PM Modi commit to a roadmap to protect children from sexual abuse.

Trigger Warning: Content about Child Sexual Abuse
Dear Naresh,
15-year-old was stripped and photographed by 4 young men. Unable to bear the burden she took her own life.
3 year-old-child was raped. She was assaulted in school by an employee who was supposed to be taking care of her.
Both these incidents took place in my hometown of Bengaluru. I am shocked and ashamed. We are not doing enough to protect our children.
I am a Rajya Sabha MP and I want to use all my resources to keep our children safe. I am askingPrime Minister Modi to commit to a roadmap to protect our children from sexual abuseSign my petition.
Naresh, your support on this petition will help me make a strong case to PM Modi. Help me reach 50,000 signatures this week.
We think our child is safe, something like this will never happen to anyone I know. Sadly, that’s not true!Sexual abuse is a risk all our children face all the time. At school, in our own neighbourhood and even at home.
Our children deserve a safe childhoodSign my petition.
Thank you for taking action,
Rajeev Chandrasekhar
Rajya Sabha MP

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