|Title||Stop land grabbing! Life, land, and justice in Uganda|
|Date released (year)||2012
|Production company||The Source Film, for Friends of the Earth International
|Keywords/tags||Land grabbing, food security, agriculture, displacement|
|Link to film||http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17QxF61PVC4
|Synopsis||In Kalangala, Uganda, John Muyisa woke up one day to find bulldozers clearing his land to plant oil palms. John and his community have preserved their forests and lands for generations. Now their way of life is at risk.|
|Reviews/discussion||Land grabbing explained
This campaign highlights the destructive environmental and social impacts of unsustainable resource use in the global North and South. We are seeking to defend community territories, protect land rights and increase awareness of corporations’ agendas, strategies, abuses and violations.
An elderly woman holds on to the fence separating her land, where she rears goats, from the advancing soya plantations, in Cordoba, Argentina.For centuries, communities have been intimidated to abandon – or forcibly removed from – their land in a seemingly endless battle to control natural resources. Today, these problems still occur and are manifesting in more direct and disturbing ways: multinational corporations occupy large swaths of community land that provides critical supplies for local populations in order to extract profitable resources – including crops for agrofuels, food, carbon offsets or minerals – for the benefit of often quite distant national and international elites.
Driven by greed and materialism, the destruction of local communities and their environments often results in the violation of both human and community rights. We have seen increased militarization and criminalization of communities who resist the appropriation of their communal lands. We have also witnessed severe environmental degradation and the destruction of natural commons for the longevity of communities.
This system continues to perpetuate the gross inequity in the distribution of natural commons (healthy ecosystems, water and air), create a poor underclass in both Global North and South, all of which further divide our world in to the haves and have-nots. Meanwhile, the consumers of these ill-begotten resources are not necessarily happier as a result of their consumption.
This campaign seeks to stop the destructive consumption race by creating, protecting and enforcing community and individual rights to land and their commons. It will also challenge the current unsustainable consumptive patterns of elites and target specific commodities with the aim of significantly reducing their consumption.
Investors must stop land grabbing, say civil society groups
LONDON (UK), November 30, 2012 – Major farmland investors such as banks and pension funds must stop facilitating land grabs, say civil society groups  on the eve of a global farmland investment conference in London on 3-5 December. 
Banks and pension funds are increasingly engaging in large-scale acquisitions of land with extremely damaging consequences for local populations. The London conference will bring together funds with more than USD3 trillion in assets to explore opportunities for investments in Africa, Latin America and Russia.
The civil society groups are warning that pension funds and banks attending the conference, for instance Deutsche Bank, must ensure they do not fund risky investments that threaten the livelihoods and food sovereignty of countless local communities.
Since 2008 rising financial investments in land have contributed to more than 200 million hectares of land being taken from small farmers, fisherfolk, and other rural communities, robbing them of their means of survival.  Land grabbing also frequently involves violent evictions and human rights violations. Institutional investors are expected to increase by 500% their agricultural investment portfolios by 2017.
Kirtana Chandrasekaran, Friends of the Earth International Food Sovereignty programme co-ordinator, said: “Unfortunately private investment in farmland may be seen by many as low risk and positive for developing countries. Yet they are often a disaster for local communities and the environment. Legal uncertainty and community opposition means that most farmland investments are also risky for investors.”
“Major investors such as banks and pension funds need to urgently investigate their investment portfolios and stop funding land grabs,” she added.
In Liberia, farmland investments have facilitated land grabbing. A quarter of the country – including vast swathes of fertile land- has been handed to palm oil, rubber and logging companies, preventing its use for food production. These large plantations are promoted as a means to create jobs, bring development, and increase the government’s budget. In reality they are jeopardizing the land rights of local populations, threatening local livelihoods and putting the future of one of the world’s most significant biodiversity hotspots into doubt.
This week in Liberia the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) / Friends of the Earth Liberia is holding a major conference with oil palm plantations-affected communities who are demanding to be heard and consulted.
Between 2009 and 2010 the government of Liberia allocated more than a million acres of land to transnational palm oil producers Sime Darby and Golden Veroleum Liberia without consulting or securing the consent of those living on and using the land. 
In the past few years, Ethiopia allocated huge areas of fertile arable farmland to foreign investors with little consultations with the affected communities. Since 2008 more than 3.6 million hectares of land has been allocated to foreign investors. For instance, in Gambela region, an Indian company -Karuturi Global- has been allocated staggering 300,000 hectares of land depriving indigenous people of access to water, fishing and grazing grounds, traditional construction materials, and food. Like in many other cases there has been a lack of prior consent and consultation with the local people and affected communities were not consulted and did not give their prior consent these farmland investments.
“In Ethiopia and elsewhere farmland investments for instance in plantations are jeopardizing the land rights of local people, and threatening local livelihoods ,” said Nyikaw Ochalla from Anywaa Survival Organisation-ASO.
“In Madagascar, landgrabbing is caused by foreign and domestic investors implementing agribusiness projects and setting up biodiversity conservation areas, but also developing tourism and extractive industry infrastructure” says Mamy Rakotondrainibe, from the Collectif pour la défense des terres malgaches -TANY in Madagascar.
“We are currently supporting pastoralists communities’ claims against the Italian company Tozzi Green which aims to lease 100 000 hectars in the Ihorombe region to mainly cultivate jatropha for agrofuel production” she adds.
A report released earlier this year by Friends of the Earth Uganda revealed widespread violations of people’s rights and environmental destruction from a land grab in Uganda. 
|Links to other resources||Friends of the Earth Internationa, land-grab campaign: http://www.foei.org/landgrab
World Bank Refuses to Stop Funding African Land Grabs, October 8, 2012, African Globe. Source: http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/world-bank-refuses-stop-funding-african-land-grabs
|Title||Seeds of Freedom|
|Date released (year)||2012|
|Production company||The Gaia Foundation and the African Biodiversity Network. In collaboration with GRAIN, Navdanya International and MELCA Ethiopia .|
|Keywords/tags||Agriculture, food, food security, poverty|
|Link to film||http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvgaMd6GBgQ
|Synopsis||The story of seed has become one of loss, control, dependence and debt. It’s been written by those who want to make vast profit from our food system, no matter what the true cost. It’s time to change the story. Narrated by Jeremy Irons.
Seeds of Freedom charts the story of seed from its roots at the heart of traditional, diversity rich farming systems across the world, to being transformed into a powerful commodity, used to monopolise the global food system.The film highlights the extent to which the industrial agricultural system, and genetically modified (GM) seeds in particular, has impacted on the enormous agro -biodiversity evolved by farmers and communities around the world, since the beginning of agriculture.
Seeds of Freedom seeks to challenge the mantra that large-scale, industrial agriculture is the only means by which we can feed the world, promoted by the pro-GM lobby. In tracking the story of seed it becomes clear how corporate agenda has driven the take over of seed in order to make vast profit and control of the food global system.
Through interviews with leading international experts such as Dr Vandana Shiva and Henk Hobbelink, and through the voices of a number of African farmers, the film highlights how the loss of indigenous seed goes hand in hand with loss of biodiversity and related knowledge; the loss of cultural traditions and practices; the loss of livelihoods; and the loss of food sovereignty. The pressure is growing to replace the diverse, nutritional, locally adapted and resilient seed crops which have been bred by small-scale farmers for millenia, by monocultures of GM seed.
Alongside speakers from indigenous farming communities, the film features global experts and activists Dr Vandana Shiva of Navdanya, Henk Hobbelink of GRAIN, Zac Goldsmith MP (UK Conservative party), Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser, Kumi Naidoo of Greenpeace International, Gathuru Mburu of the African Biodiversity Network, Liz Hosken of The Gaia Foundation and Caroline Lucas MP (UK Green party).
|Reviews/discussion||The Gaia Foundation (Gaia) has over 25 years experience working with partners in Africa, South America, Asia and Europe to regenerate cultural and biological diversity. In collaboration with partners on the ground, particularly through the African Biodiversity Network, The Gaia Foundation works with communities who are committed to regaining their seed, water and food sovereignty. Together, Gaia and partners have pioneered the Climate, Seed & Knowledge (CSK) programme, which supports the revival of indigenous seed diversity and related knowledge through tools such as eco-cultural calendars. These were developed through Gaia’s work in the Amazon in the 90’s with Gaia Amazonas. In the 90’s, when the first GM crop was shipped from USA to Europe, without any public debate, Gaia helped to initiate a broad-based coalition of civil society groups in the UK calling for a moratorium on genetic engineering (GE) in food and agriculture. This later became what is now known as the GM Freeze campaign, the first of many to fight against GM across Europe and beyond.
The African Biodiversity Network
The African Biodiversity Network (ABN) is a regional network of individuals and organisations first conceived in 1996 in response to growing concerns over threats to biodiversity in Africa. As the agendas of global agri-business turned their attention to Africa, the need to develop strong African positions, a united African voice and the legal instruments to oppose these threats became increasingly important. This advocacy work is rooted in ABN’S work to revive ecosystem and community resilience, by focusing on the regeneration of indigenous knowledge and ecological agricultural practices. The Climate, Seed & Knowledge (CSK) programme emerged out of the work with communities, to recuperate their traditional seed diversity and related knowledge. This is the foundation of climate change resilience, and in turn food and seed sovereignty. ABN is one of the founding partners of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), which was initiated in 2009, bringing together a number of African regional networks working on issues ranging from farming and agro-ecology, to indigenous peoples’ rights and related advocacy.
The African individuals and communities who feature in the film have been working with partner organisations of the African Biodiversity Network to revive their local seed varieties. In Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa in particular, these communities are reclaiming their seed sovereignty. This area of work, known as the Climate, Seed & Knowledge programme, has been developed by the ABN and Gaia with communities over the last decade. Find out more: http://www.seedsoffreedom.info/our-projects/climate-seed-knowledge/
Dr Hans R Herren, President Biovision Foundation and Millennium Institute
“Yet another important piece of the puzzle that we needed to get the full picture of what a sustainable agriculture, food and nutrition security reality looks like. It is time for our decision makers to protect the branch we are sitting on, them included, and so they need to return the rights to the seeds to their legal owners, the farmers”
Vandana Shiva, Founding Director, Navdanya, India
“Seeds of Freedom is a powerful film with an important message. There is a new wave of cultural imperialism taking place right now in the field of biodiversity and seed. We are losing our critical seed diversity to just a handful of corporations in the western world. The genetic erosion taking place here is tantamount to ecocide. The rate of farmer suicides because of crop failure and debt is nothing short of genocide. We must decentralise our food system.”
Henk Hobbelink, Co-ordinator, GRAIN
“It is time for people to realise that diversity means survival. Diversity is what gives us resilience, and resilience is exactly what we are going to need as the climate changes alongside social, political and economic landscapes. It’s very important for people to realise that we simply won’t be able to produce the food that we need if we allow our natural biodiversity to be further eroded. Watch Seeds of Freedom and then do something about it. It’s time for us all to stop partaking in this aggressive food system and to demand something different.”
“There’s a popular myth that Africa needs and wants GM, which needs to be dispelled. Quite categorically, they don’t – farmers from the continent have been successfully saving and selecting seeds for thousands of years. Films like Seeds of Freedom are vital in highlighting the voices of these people, a people who recognise the importance of maintaining seed ownership and diversity for reasons of culture, climate resilience and food sovereignty.”
|Links to other resources||United Nations University, Are transgenic crops safe? GM agriculture in Africa, at: http://unu.edu/publications/articles/are-transgenic-crops-safe-gm-agriculture-in-africa.html
Jennifer G. Cooke, Richard Downie (2010) Assessing the Debate in Zambia, Kenya, and South Africa: http://csis.org/publication/african-perspectives-genetically-modified-crops
GMO Watch: http://www.gmo-watch.com/
|Title||A Thousand Suns – Global Oneness Project (Part 1)|
|Date released (year)||2009|
|Keywords/tags||Indigenous, climate change, agriculture, food security|
|Link to film||http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bNhTYxYfV4
|Synopsis||A Thousand Suns tells the story of the Gamo Highlands of the African Rift Valley and the unique worldview held by the people of the region. This isolated area has remained remarkably intact both biologically and culturally. It is one of the most densely populated rural regions of Africa yet its people have been farming sustainably for 10,000 years. Shot in Ethiopia, New York and Kenya, the film explores the modern world’s untenable sense of separation from and superiority over nature and how the interconnected worldview of the Gamo people is fundamental in achieving long-term sustainability, both in the region and beyond.|
|Reviews/discussion||The Global Oneness Project is a digital, ad-free, bi-monthly magazine. Through stories, we explore the threads that connect culture, ecology, and beauty. Our collection of films, photography, and essays feature diverse and dynamic voices from around the world.
A. Nyong, F. Adesina & B. Osman Elasha (2007) The value of indigenous knowledge in climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in the African Sahel, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change
Past global efforts at dealing with the problem of global warming concentrated on mitigation, with the aim of reducing and possibly stabilizing greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere. With the slow progress in achieving this, adaptation was viewed as a viable option to reduce the vulnerability to the anticipated negative impacts of global warming. It is increasingly realized that mitigation and adaptation should not be pursued independent of each other but as complements. This has resulted in the recent calls for the integration of adaptation into mitigation strategies. However, integrating mitigation and adaptation into climate change concerns is not a completely new idea in the African Sahel. The region is characterized by severe and frequent droughts with records dating back into centuries. The local populations in this region, through their indigenous knowledge systems, have developed and implemented extensive mitigation and adaptation strategies that have enabled them reduce their vulnerability to past climate variability and change, which exceed those predicted by models of future climate change. However, this knowledge is rarely taken into consideration in the design and implementation of modern mitigation and adaptation strategies. This paper highlights some indigenous mitigation and adaptation strategies that have been practiced in the Sahel, and the benefits of integrating indigenous knowledge into formal climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. Incorporating indigenous knowledge can add value to the development of sustainable climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies that are rich in local content, and planned in conjunction with local people.
|Links to other resources||Oxfam report on climate change in Ethiopia: http://www.oxfam.org/pressroom/pressrelease/2010-04-22/climate-change-increasing-poverty-and-vulnerability-ethiopia
Marius Keller, Climate Risks and Development Projects: Assessment Report for a Community-Level Project in Guduru, Oromiya, Ethiopia. Source: http://www.iisd.org/cristaltool/documents/BFA-Ethiopia-Assessment-Report-Eng.pdf
|Title||Re-greening in Niger, a road trip with Dr Chris Reij|
|Date released (year)||2013|
|Keywords/tags||Agriculture, permaculture, desertification, food security, environmentalism|
|Link to film||http://youtu.be/tBv7_K0PtZo
|Synopsis||This 9 minute film is an insight into the work of soil and water conservation expert, Dr Chris Reij. In June 2012, I joined him on a whistle-stop tour of communities in southern Niger. This area is right on the edge of the Sahara and yet growing in the sandy soil are an abundance of vegetables, cereal crops and trees.
|Reviews/discussion||Permaculture has been practised in Africa for over 30 years, with ongoing and effective projects mainly situated in Southern and Eastern Africa. Central and West Africa has seen a rapid increase in interest for and development of permaculture projects more recently.
Fambidzanai in Zimbabwe is the longest running project and has led to the establishment of Schools and Colleges Permaculture Education (SCOPE), which became Regional SCOPE (ReSCOPE) in 2007 and is now based in Malawi.
ReSCOPE (www.seedingschools.org) supports permaculture projects to take permaculture into formal education systems. The Malawian government has funded a pilot project to bring permaculture into primary schools.
Permaculture in Africa is linked in to the wider sustainability network through organisations like PELUM http://www.pelumrd.org , which has networks across Southern and Eastern Africa
|Links to other resources||Also see: https://ejoltdocumentaries.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/converting-ethiopian-desert-into-hyper-productive-land/
Dryland Permaculture with Bill Mollison: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmdCIqNG5BI
See Hope in a Changing Climate: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/whats-on/ou-on-the-bbc-hope-changing-climate
|Title||East Africa food crisis appeal 2011|
|Date released (year)||2011|
|Production company||Christian Aid|
|Location||East Africa: Kenya|
|Keywords/tags||Drought, food crisis, climate, famine, aid, poverty|
|Link to film||http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3f3fboWwlVs&feature=share&list=PLIAHio7X18uEHwLYz6zWwgoV96r3BLu1X|
|Synopsis||As the drought intensifies in north eastern and eastern Kenya, Christian Aid partner CCSMKE provides much need relief, including transporting water to villages experiencing the worst of the drought conditions.|
|Reviews/discussion||From the Institute of Development Studies:
The East African food crisis: beyond drought and food aid
11 July 2011
Millions of East Africans are once again threatened by famine. The last major famine in the region occurred in Ethiopia, not in 1984 when an estimated 590,000 people died, but in the country’s Somali Region in 2000 when between 70,000 and 120,000 lives were lost.
Just over a decade later, the humanitarian response has started too late, as it did in 1983 and 1999, and many preventable deaths have already been reported. What are the real causes of this crisis – beyond drought – and what are the most appropriate responses – beyond food aid?
Drought, or vulnerability to drought?
Drought-triggered food crises are regular events in arid and semi-arid areas of the Horn of Africa. The famine of 2000 in Ethiopia followed a sequence of droughts that started in 1997. In northern Kenya, a complete failure of the short rains in 2005 caused 30-40 per cent livestock losses and distress migration of pastoralists, 3.5 million of whom needed emergency assistance. Another drought followed in 2008/9, and the current crisis was precipitated by many districts recording the driest rainy season in 60 years.
But drought doesn’t cause famine: vulnerability to drought causes famine. The causes of vulnerability in the Horn are complex, but include (1) climate change (not lower rainfall, but more erratic rainfall); (2) policy failure (not least a shameful neglect of basic service provision for pastoralist communities); and (3) conflict (most visibly in Somalia, also low-level violence in southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya). Two common factors across all affected countries are persistent droughts and a persistent failure to support the efforts of local people to adapt to their increasingly marginal environments.
One crisis, many responses
The first response must be compassion – humanitarian relief needs to be fully supported at every level, from individual donations to institutional advocacy. For many years, people in northern Kenya’s arid and semi-arid districts have received food aid for several months each year. More ambitious social protection interventions, like the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP) in northern Kenya and the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) in Ethiopia, deliver regular cash transfers to 300,000 Kenyans and over 8 million Ethiopians, with the aims of boosting consumption, protecting household assets and promoting investment in livelihoods. The Centre for Social Protection, based at IDS, is monitoring and evaluating the impacts of HSNP and PSNP. Significant positive gains have been recorded in household food security and other indicators of wellbeing.
In Somalia, prolonged civil conflict and insecurity and an absence of government means that these forms of support are virtually absent. However, the inability of conventional social protection to build resilience against severe shocks has been dramatically exposed by the ongoing emergency. Because the underlying causes of vulnerability in the Horn were never systematically addressed, the crisis never really went away.
Second, better analysis is needed, not just to sharpen responses to the current crisis but to reduce the likelihood of similar crises in future. (1) What caused the crisis?Drought was certainly the trigger, but understanding causes requires analysing livelihoods, policy processes (in agriculture, pastoralism, social protection) and national, regional and global politics. (2) How severe is the crisis? How many people need immediate relief? How badly affected are they? What assistance will they need to rebuild their livelihoods once food aid stops? (3) Why was the response late?Did early warning systems fail to sound the alarm? Or did governments and donor agencies fail to respond, and if so, why?
Third, more effective risk management mechanisms are needed. These could include: (1) making social protection interventions more flexible, by scaling up the HSNP and PSNP in difficult years, or (2) offering low-paid work on demand, along the lines of India’s Employment Guarantee Scheme, or (3) subsidising weather-indexed crop and livestock insurance schemes (this is being piloted in Kenya). Recent thinking on ‘adaptive social protection’, which links social protection, climate change adaptation and disaster risk management, shows how an integrated approach can enhance resilience to shocks and stresses.
Finally, the most sustainable solution is to build more resilient livelihoods. This includes conflict resolution mechanisms and lifting restrictions on mobility and cross-border trade. It also implies supporting alternative livelihoods and exits from pastoralism for those who choose this (but not forced sedentarisation). Governments need to invest seriously in education, especially for girls, to empower the next generation with the skills they need to pursue less climate-sensitive livelihood options.
Act now, plan for tomorrow
The humanitarian imperative to minimise avoidable suffering demands that we act now. But equally important is to take steps to minimise avoidable suffering in the future. Only by understanding what went wrong this time can the links from early warning to response be strengthened, effective risk management mechanisms installed and climate-sensitive livelihoods made more resilient. Ultimately, this requires political commitment at the highest levels. In the meantime, as individuals we must do what we can. Please donate.
By Stephen Devereux , IDS Fellow.
See related discussions at: https://ejoltdocumentaries.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/east-africa-famine-appeal-the-need-in-drought-striken-areas/
|Links to other resources||For critical discussion of FOOD AID: http://www.globalissues.org/article/748/food-aid
Christian Aid: http://www.christianaid.org.uk