The Ecologist


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Myanmar: Monsoon rains threaten Rohingya who have been displaced from their homes, villages and lands under violent and discriminatory government policies. Photo: Evangelos Petratos / EU/ECHO, Myebon, June 2013 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

ICC to prosecute environmental crimes for profit

John Vidal & Owen Bowcott, Guardian Environment

21st September 2016

The International Criminal Court in The Hague is to broaden its focus to prosecute governments and individuals for environmental crimes, write John Vidal & Owen Bowcott. Examples include illegal deforestation, theft of resources, and expulsion of populations from their land. more...
Women applying fertilizer to Cassava plants in Ekiti, without these crops the farmers would have nothing. Photo: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Nigerian farmers win High Court court victory in fight against Ekiti airport

Rose Bridger

8th April 2016

The state government of Ekiti sent bulldozers to clear farmland for a new airport without even consulting the farmers who owned it, writes Rose Bridger. Crops, buildings and trees were all flattened. But the farmers fought back - and have now won a major legal victory that will inspire and empower other mega-project afflicted communities across Nigeria, and beyond. more...
Oil palm plantation in Indonesia. Photo: Ryan Woo for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

‘Land Grabbing’: exposing the impacts of large-scale agriculture on local communities

Chris Lang / REDD Monitor

8th February 2016

Agriculture is big business and with the EU pumping money at the sector, the corporate profiteers are holding all the aces, writes Chris Lang. The documentary ‘Land Grabbing’ investigates what happens when well-financed agro-investors take over rural communities' land and water. more...
A child in one of the 'unrecognised' Bedouin villages of the Negev desert, Israel: an Israeli citizen, but one less equal than others. Photo: Physicians for Human Rights - Israel via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Don't build Jew-only towns on the rubble of Bedouin villages

Jewish Coalition for the Bedouin of Um al-Hiran and Atir

26th January 2016

Israel's government is now free to expel 1,200 of its Bedouin citizens from their 'unrecognised' villages in the Negev desert, following a Supreme Court decision not to hear their appeal. Now only one thing can save the Bedouin, their communities and their way of life: an international outcry. more...
Ducks by their pond on a small farm near Ostróda, Northern Poland. Photo: Leszek Kozlowski via Flickr (CC BY).

Polish government backs small farmers' and food sovereignty

Julian Rose / ICPPC

25th January 2016

Since Poland's new government was elected last October it has moved to protect the country's 1.3 million small farmers, writes Julian Rose. First it freed those arrested for protesting corporate land grabs, now it is seeking to lighten oppressive hygiene regulations, and next it may support a new Food Act that would ban GMOs, and legislate for national food security and food sovereignty. more...
A tribal elder from the Tagbanua tribe in Quezon municipality, central Palawan. Photo: Rod Harbinson.

Philippines islanders unite to resist 'land grab' palm oil companies

Rod Harbinson

7th January 2016

Farmers on Palawan are being tricked into giving land away to palm oil companies with local government support, writes Rod Harbinson. Under the palm oil company 'leases' the farmers lose all rights to their land, never receive any money, and are saddled with 25 years of debt. Those who resist the land grabs are now in fear for their lives following the murder of a prominent campaigner. more...
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...

land grabs: 1/25 of 69
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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...
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...


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