The race for land
Our goal: Empowered partner organisations that support the rights of people in poverty to land, secure land tenure, and sustainable management of natural resources.
What we do
We Effect supports cooperatives and farmer organisations which are pressing for the right to land for small-scale farmers and indigenous people. Together with organisations specialised in land issues, they help members exercise their tenure rights and strengthen the ability of small-scale farmers to negotiate and defend their interests in relation to both the government and foreign investors.
In a similar way we also support housing cooperatives which have come to play a central role in the lobbying for people’s access to land for housing. Civil society organisations also play a crucial role in influencing policy makers to ensure that local populations and indigenous people have rights to land, and to ensure that development policies benefit the poor through redistribution of resources.
Facts about land and poverty
The most fundamental precondition for both agriculture and housing is access to land. Demand for land for large-scale agricultural production of, for example, foodstuffs, biofuels and forest is increasing. The major investments are largely taking place in the world’s poorest countries. In many cases, non-renewable natural resources are taken out of countries without the local people benefitting from the extraction. This is why many countries show a high rate of economic growth but with no corresponding reduction in poverty rates.
Mining industries also contribute less to a country’s development because many companies enjoy tax concessions. At the same time, the local population’s livelihoods are threatened due to reduced access to land and other natural resources. The ability of people in poverty to defend, demand and exercise their right to land is therefore crucial to the development.