The Ecologist


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Polish farmers in tractors advancing slowly towards the Szczecin prosecutor's office, 12th October 2015, to demand that all charges are dropped. Photo: ICPPC.

Polish 'farm defenders' arrested, imprisoned

The Ecologist

13th October 2015

The might of the Polish state is turning against the country's small farmers following a series of effective protests against the sale of land in the country's western Pomerania province to foreign investors. more...
34 people were killed at the 2009 protest for indigenous rights at Bagua, Peru. Photo: anonoymous via powless / Flickr (CC BY).

Neoliberals with chainsaws: deforestation in Peru and the future of the Amazon

Clément Doleac

5th October 2015

Peru is in hot competition with Brazil to be the main focus of Amazonian deforestation, writes Clément Doleac. A neoliberal government desperate to hand over the country's forests, oil, gas, minerals and indigenous lands for corporate exploitation is unafraid to break national laws, turn a blind eye to air and water pollution, and respond to any challenges with overwhelming violence. more...
The beneficiary - 'chicken oligarch' Yuriy Kosyuk, whose agribusiness company has received €500 million of loans from the EBRD, financed by the EU's taxpayers. Photo: UTR News via Wikimedia (CC BY).

EU taxpayers finance Ukraine's 'chicken oligarch'

Fidanka Bacheva McGrath / CEE Bankwatch

17th September 2015

Taxpayer-financed development banks have lent €500 million to Ukraine's biggest agribusiness company so it can undercut EU chicken producers, writes Fidanka Bacheva McGrath - while polluting the environment and grabbing land from local farmers. more...
The Bedouin village of Umm al Hiran, scheduled for demolition after a Supreme Court judgment that its residents rights would not be violated by their forced eviction to make way for a Jewish town. Photo:

Israel resumes ethnic cleansing of the Negev - the Prawer Plan revived?

Alia Al Ghussain

11th September 2015

British Prime Minister David Cameron is receiving Israel's Benjamin Netenyahu into his Downing Street home just as Israel embarks on its ethnic cleansing of the Negev, writes Alia Al Ghussain. The imminent demolition of the 'unrecognised' Bedouin village of Umm Al Hiran and the eviction of its residents looks like the realization of the 'Prawer Plan' to Judaize the desert. more...
Scottish Comedian Bruce Fummey joins the #OurLand photoshoot. Photo: .

Scottish land reform - don't forget the tax havens!

Craig Bayne

18th September 2015

New proposals on land reform in Scotland are a mixed bag, writes Craig Bayne: some good, some bad, and some downright ugly. Leading that last category is the failure to tackle offshore land ownership in tax haven shell companies, and force disclosure of the real landowners. more...
View of Paradise: Garifunas on Chachahuate enjoy fishing, beach, sun, and Caribbean waters. Photo: npatterson via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Honduras: Garifuna communities resist eviction and theft of land

Jeff Abbott / Waging NonViolence

12th August 2015

Pristine beaches, clear Caribbean waters, coral reefs, fertile land ... such is the homeland of the Garifuna people, writes Jeff Abbott. It's so lovely that outsiders are desperate to seize ever more of their territory to develop for mass tourism, oil palm plantations, illicit drug production ... and the land grabs have the full support of Honduras military government, backed to the hilt by Uncle Sam. more...
US Marines in amphibious assault vehicles taking part in a US military exercise in Oura Bay, Okinawa, Japan, 2nd November 2014 Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Raul Moreno Jr. / US Navy via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

70 years after Hiroshima, Okinawa's long resistance to US military occupation

Taisuke Komatsu & Semanur Karaman

6th August 2015

Japan is living under the shadow of US militarism, write Taisuke Komatsu & Semanur Karaman - and most of all in Okinawa, the nation's southernmost archipelago. Against overwhelming local opposition but backed by Japan's government, the US is building a new military base that is seizing land and threatens the unique ecology of Oura Bay with its seagrass beds, dugongs and coral reefs. more...
The land take for the Moorside nuclear plant will come right up to the ancient village of Beckermet, West Cumbria, and the 12th Century St Bridget's Church, built on the site of a 7th Century monastery. Photo: Chris Wood via Flickr.

Moorside, Cumbria: the great nuclear land grab

Martin Forwood

7th August 2015

The land grab by NuGen for its triple reactor Moorside site keeps on growing, writes Martin Forwood. The 'biggest construction project in Europe' is expanding from Nugen's original 200 hectare site to 552 hectares of farmland reaching right up to two villages and an 11th Century church. But with compulsory purchase on the cards, there's nothing locals can do except keep on fighting the entire deeply flawed project. more...
Indigenous representatives of multiple ethnicities were barred from Brazil's Congress building last 16th December when they gathered to oppose PEC 215. Photo: Ninja Midia via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Não a PEC 215! No to Brazil's plan to open indigenous lands to industrial exploitation!

Chris Lang / REDD Monitor

15th July 2015

Last December Brazil's indigenous Peoples defeated the PEC 215 constitutional amendment that was meant to open up their territories for agribusiness, mining, power generation and industry, writes Chris Lang. But now, thanks to 'Chainsaw Queen' Kátia Abreu, minster of agriculture, it's back on the agenda ... and resistance is growing once again. more...
Quechua mother and child in the Sacred Valley near Qosqo (Cusco), Peru. Photo: Thomas Quine via Flickr (CC BY).

Enclosing the indigenous commons in highland Peru

Arthur Scarritt

14th July 2015

Under the guise of a land-titling project, Peru is breaking up and privatising indigenous common lands across the Andean highlands, writes Arthur Scarritt. While the law provides for communal titling and democratic votes, in practice there's no provision for communities to exercise these rights, and the many are being dispossessed in favour of large, 'efficient' market-oriented producers. more...
Police line up at a 2012 demo against the Lobo regime in Tegucigalpa. Photo:  hondurasdelegation via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Honduras under Occupation - murders, land grabs, and Hillary Clinton's 'hard choices'

Eric Draitser & Ramiro S. Fúnez

2nd July 2015

Honduras has endured six years of violence and land grabs after the 2009 US-backed military coup made the country a playground for Hillary Clinton's billionaire friends, write Eric Draitser & Ramiro S. Fúnez - and a hell for the country's indigenous and small scale farming communities, whose leaders are routinely murdered with impunity by US-trained forces. more...
Residents of Kh. Basaliyeh putting out fire caused by military’s training. Between Kh. Basaliyeh and Humsah. Photo: ‘Aref Daraghmeh,, B’Tselem, 25 June 2015.

Israel's military exercises ravage Palestine's Jordan Valley

The Ecologist

1st July 2015

Last month Palestinians of the Jordan Valley suffered a punitive regime of military exercises that displaced hundreds of people, set fire to farmland and holed water tanks - all part of Israel's plans to annex the region for Jewish settlements. more...

land grabs: 1/25 of 63
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The JNF-sponsored Yatir Forest advances over a hill towards the Bedouin village of Atir. Photo: Amjad Iraqi / 972 Mag.

Israel's Forest of Yatir to expand over Bedouin village

Amjad Iraqi / 972 Mag & The Ecologist

23rd June 2014

It should be good news, but it's not. Israel's largest man-made forest is set for enlargement, but at the expense of a village where a Bedouin community has lived since they were resettled there in 1956. Its sister village is to be demolished so a new Jewish town can be built on its ruins. more...
An MV-22B Osprey disembarks Marines Dec. 9, 2013, at Baker runway on Tinian's North Field during Exercise Forager Fury II. Photo: Marines via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Pacific islanders at the mercy of US 'simulated war zone'

Roy Smith, Nottingham Trent University

19th June 2015

The Pacific islands of Pagan and Tinian are scheduled for a key role in the US's 'pivot to Asia', writes Roy Smith, as a simulated war zone for live-fire combat training. It would mean evicting Tinian's more than 3,000 inhabitants. But does anyone give a damn? more...
This time, it's tear gas: masked man at a farmers and student protest in Colombia, August 2013. Photo: Nick Jaussi via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Colombia's first steps of resistance against Monsanto's chemical war

W.T. Whitney Jr

8th June 2015

The mass spraying of glyphosate in Colombia, both on farmland and in the 'war on drugs', is a direct an attack on small scale farmers, rural communities and FARC rebels, writes W.T. Whitney Jr. But since the chemical was declared a 'probable carcinogen' Colombia has restricted aerial applications. The first step in a wider backlash against the toxic herbicide? more...
Matare, a Nuer settlement along Baro River, Gambela Region, Ethiopia, in quieter times. Photo: UNICEF Ethiopia 2005 / Getachew via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

The lesser known story of India's role in Ethiopian land grabs

Mohammad Amir Anwar

15th June 2015

It's not just western corporations that are moving into large-scale agribusiness in Ethiopia, writes Mohammad Amir Anwar. Indian investors have acquired rights to some 6,000 of land much of it in the ecologically sensitive Gambela region, where unconsulted Nuer and Anuak peoples are suffering from forest clearance. more...
Keromela Anek sits with some of her neighbors in Apaa. Photo: Phil Wilmot / WNV.

How a Ugandan grandmother fought the President for her community's land - and won

Phil Wilmot / Waging NonViolence

9th June 2015

A new tactic of non-violent resistance secured a future for the people of Apaa, Uganda, after a violent government-backed land grab had threatened to turn their village and farmland over to a sports hunting business, writes Phil Wilmot. The unlikely leader was Anek, a respected grandmother of the village, whose naked protest sent both troops and government ministers packing. more...
The sacred water of Gosainkunda Lake at the headwaters of the Trishuli River, soon to be changed forever by the construction fo a succession of high dams. Photo: Yosarian via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY).

In Nepal's next big quake, hydropower dams threaten catastrophe

Michael Buckley

4th May 2015

A spate of hydroelectric dam building in Nepal means that future earthquakes could send inland tsunamis flooding down the steep mountain valleys, writes Michael Buckley. Disaster was averted in last month's quake - a badly damaged dam was not yet filled. But despite the risks and the damage to river ecology, tourism and rural livelihoods, there's no sign of any policy shift. more...
A protest in Kafr ad Dik village in February 2012 against the theft of land by nearby 'settlers'. Now it's the village's soil that is being stolen. Photo: KafrAdDeek via Wikimedia Commons (CC Public Domain).

Israelis steal fertile soil from Palestinian farms

The Ecologist

22nd April 2015

Not satisfied with seizing Palestinian land and water, Israeli settlers in the West Bank have found a new way to enrich themselves at their neighbors' expense - by stealing their fertile soil and transporting it to their own farms and gardens. more...
A peaceful protest by the indigenous people fighting the flooding of their land and villages by the Kanhar dam. Photo: Vindhya Bacao (

India: police shoot eight indigenous protestors against illegal dam

Jitendra & Kiran Pandey / Down to Earth

15th April 2015

Police in India's Uttar Pradesh state yesterday opened fire on a 'sit in' by tribal protestors at the construction site of the Kanhar dam, now under construction in open contempt of court orders. Tribal leader Akku Kharwar and eight others were seriously injured by the gun fire. more...
A gigantic dam under construction on the Upper Mekong River.

Damming Tibet: China's destruction of Tibet's rivers, environment and people

Michael Buckley

13th April 2015

When Michael Buckley took a white water rafting trip in Tibet in 2005, he had no idea of the adventure he was embarking on - a ten-year investigation of China ruthless exploitation of Tibet's mineral and hydroelectric resources, and its systematic attack on indigenous Tibetans, their culture and their survival on the land. more...
The dazzling pace of development in China comes at a human cost - of those dispossessed to make way for it all. Tianmu is one of the villages in the way of the expansion of Tianjin, pictured. Photo: Yang Aijun / World Bank via Flickr (CC-BY-NC-ND).

Tianjin, China: a village 'land grab' protest spells trouble for the Communist state

Samantha Hoffman & Jonathan Sullivan

11th April 2015

Rising anger by China's dispossessed - those displaced from their homes, villages and farms to make way for ever-expanding cities and infrastructure - is posing an existential threat to the ruling regime, write Samantha Hoffman & Jonathan Sullivan. At the root of the problem is the state's inability to tackle endemic official corruption and deliver justice to its citizens. more...
Thousands of farmers are protesting in Warsaw, Poland, to demand an end to land grabs, corporate domination of food and farming, draconian regulation, GMO crops, and the imposition of an 'agribusiness' model that undermines their independence and the inte

Occupy agriculture! Polish farmers sit in for land and freedom

Julian Rose

19th March 2015

At the heart of Poland's capital, Warsaw, farmers have founded a flourishing encampment known as the 'Green City', writes Julian Rose. It's a focus of protest against the sell-off of their land to agribusiness, the arrival of GMO crops, and the imposition of a failed 'Western' model of farming that's creating huge corporate profits while debasing food and bankrupting small farmers. more...
In happier times, a Kwegu family on a maize field next to the Omo river. Photo: via Survival International.

Ethiopia: Kwegu tribe starves, victims of dam and land grabs

Oliver Tickell

13th March 2015

The Kwegu people of Ethiopia's Lower Omo Valley are facing starvation because of the loss of their land to a huge sugar plantation, the destruction of their forest and the damming of the Omo river - supported by a UK, EU and World Bank funded 'aid' program. more...
After a crash in the price of tobacco, Malawian farmers in Chiradzulu district have opted for crop diversification and a path to food security. Photo: Travis Lupick via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Agroecology can feed Africa - not agribusiness

Ian Fitzpatrick

10th March 2015

Corporate interests have skewed the entire development agenda for agriculture in Africa, writes Ian Fitzpatrick. Instead of investing in sustainable, small scale farming along agroecological principles that raise production and support rural communities, governments - including the UK's - are backing destructive industrial farming and land grabs. more...


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