"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Whose Land is it Anyway?

This is the title of an article by environmentalist Lester Brown in the latest issue of Resurgence, a wonderful publication, "at the heart of earth, art and spirit." If you are not familiar with this magazine, I strongly recommend it if you care at all for the future of the earth.

Lester warns of a new age of hunger precipitated by "land grabs," taking the land away from those who may have tilled it for centuries, often all in the interest of fat profits for companies who may well come from outside the area, and have no interest in the area except as a profit center. In his new book: World on the Edge, he tells us that "...in 2009 Saudi Arabia received its first shipment of rice produced on land acquired in Ethiopia while at the same time the World Food Program was providing food aid to 5 million Ethiopians."  

How mad is that?!
Lester gives other examples of this madness. Smallholder farmers across the world are so often helpless against governments and large corporations in this land-grabbing scandal.
You can read more about this and what can be done about it on the website of GRAIN, a "small international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems." 
We cannot ignore such injustices and stupidities - at the end of the day hunger is first and foremost an ethical and humanitarian issue - but we should also be aware that countries who currently have plenty to eat and live in comfort are very likely to be at the receiving end of refugees in numbers we simply cannot cope with in the future, unless we all pull together to promote global sustainability based on the need of all and not the greed of the privileged few.   

Think about it! 

 © Eleanor Stoneham 2011

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