Land-grabbing firms beware: cost of ignoring people's rights is rising | Jonathan Glennie

From Global development | The Guardian Mon Feb 18 2013, 02:00:01

Communities have more hope than ever of seeing off companies trying to acquire their land, with support from media and NGOs

A new report on land acquisition by the Munden Project/Rights and Resources Institute brings an important angle to the land "grab" debate. Rather than focusing on the ethics of land grabbing, the report makes the business case for working with local communities, arguing that failure to inform or fairly compensate affected locals heightens the risks to investors. Why? Because affected communities start to make life difficult for abusive or lazy companies, leading to massive unexpected costs or even an eventual full-scale retreat.

The key risk, perhaps not emphasised sufficiently by the report, for companies considering acquiring land overseas is the probability of local people mounting a successful defence of their land. Where there is little likelihood of resistance or where, more probably, resistance can be easily quashed and a company or government thinks it can get away with it, there is no real business case for doing the right thing.

And that is where campaigning comes in. Without national and international support, even the most organised and persistent communities have found it hard to defend their rights and interests. But campaigner support can swing the balance in favour of the community at risk.

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse

People and Organizations:

You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Zimbabwe:   Social Media Becomes Mugabe's Nightmare (analysis)
Inter Press Service
25 October 2016

In a WhatsApp video that went viral in September, a middle-aged Zimbabwean man addresses President Robert Mugabe, telling him that 90 percent of the people in the country are unemployed and do not ... [read more]

Africa:   China's Growing Presence in Africa Wins Positive Popular Reviews (press release)
24 October 2016

In the eyes of Africans, China rivals the United States in influence and popularity as a development model, according to a new Afrobarometer report released on World Development Information ... [read more]

South Africa:   Ruling Party's Youth League Slams Deputy President for Supporting Finance Minister (news)
25 October 2016

The ANC Youth League has been critical of all who've publicly pledged support for Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan ahead of his court appearance on November 2, saying that he should go through the ... [read more]

blogAfrica is's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!