From Kings Heath to Kasongo, protecting food security is crucial

Friends,

We all know the importance of protecting our food security in the face of climate change, peak oil and volatile markets. It’s one of the key goals of the Transition movement and one we are tackling as a group here in Kings Heath.

Sadly our friends in other parts of the world are having to contend with an additional threat: large-scale "land grabs" by multinational corporations, eager to profit from exports of food and biofuels to countries like the UK. This video takes a satirical look at this dire situation: http://youtu.be/DOH_dYFLvyo

Fortunately Oxfam’s latest campaign is tackling this crucial issue. You can find out more and sign up for updates at http://www.oxfam.org.uk/land

Cheers,

Jonathan (secretary)

— Kings Heath Transition – community resilience, facing up to peak oil and climate change
www.kingsheathtransition.org.uk
Twitter : @KHTransition

Facebook : Kings Heath Transition
Postal Address : 73 All Saints Rd, Kings Heath, Birmingham, B14 7LN

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One Response to From Kings Heath to Kasongo, protecting food security is crucial

  1. transitionkh2011 says:

    Phil Burrows replied to say:

    “A great debate on this issue went out on the world service on Friday. A few squirming politicians getting a telling off from NGOs. You can listen to it at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p00p5qrb/BBC_Africa_Debate_Is_land_grabbing_good_for_Africa/ and a better description is below:

    BBC World Service’s new monthly programme, BBC Africa Debate, will bring to the fore the issue of land acquisitions in Africa. Broadcast on Friday 24 February from Freetown, Sierra Leone, the debate is presented by BBC Africa’s Alex Jakana, and Justin Rowlatt, correspondent for BBC’s TV current-affairs programme, Newsnight.

    Large-scale acquisitions of farmland in Africa, Latin America and Asia have made headlines across the world. The investors include some of the world’s largest food, financial and car companies. In Africa, countries such as Ethiopia, South Sudan, Mozambique, Liberia, DR Congo and Sierra Leone have all signed major land deals with foreign investors. The host governments and investors say that these investments will lead to economic development, promising positives such as employment, creation of infrastructure and social services.

    Critics, who describe these acquisitions as “land grabs”, believe that their main beneficiaries are the foreign investors because most of commodities produced, including food, biofuel and flowers, are for export. They argue that the land deals are not done transparently, thus creating a breeding ground for corruption.

    BBC Africa Current Affairs Editor, Stephane Mayoux, says: “When the state is weak and lacks capacity, it opens itself to deals that are not always in full interests of the local population. Some land acquisitions have been particularly contentious in sub-Saharan Africa. If it matters to Africa, we’ll debate it in Africa – that’s what BBC Africa Debate is about. With panellists and live audience in Freetown, we will try to answer the question whether ‘land grab’ is really a development opportunity and if ‘land grabbing’ is actually good for Africa.”

    BBC World Service has commissioned a global poll exploring the way citizens around the world view foreign investment in Africa’s resources. The poll findings will be discussed at BBC Africa Debate which will take place in Freetown in front of an audience of invited guests including prominent Sierra Leonean politicians, academics, civil society activists, media personalities.

    This edition of BBC Africa Debate will be broadcast by BBC World Service at 19.00 GMT on Friday 24 February.”

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