Scottish campaigners demand action on land grabs

Published 10 June 2013  |  Susie Turner
(Photo: SCIAF)
The Sold sign has been placed on the side of Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh to highlight the injustice of land grabs by large corporations

Scottish Catholic development agency SCIAF is urging G8 leaders to take action against land grabs by large corporations in poor countries.

To make their point, campaigners have placed a giant white 'Sold' sign on the side of Edinburgh's iconic natural feature, Arthur's Seat.

SCIAF says land grabs across Africa, Asia and Latin America are causing poor families to be evicted from their farms and unable to grow enough food to support themselves.

SCIAF wants G8 leaders to give people in developing countries more control over their land by protecting poor farmers from land grabs and using land to grow food not biofuels.

The publicity stunt highlights the fact that an area the size of Arthur's Seat is lost to corporate land grabs every 20 seconds. Between 2000 and 2010, land 26 times the size of Scotland was sold off globally. The total area was large enough to grow food for a billion people, equivalent to the number of people around the world who go to bed hungry each night.

SCIAF is part of the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign, which brought thousands of people to Hyde Park for a massive rally demanding action on hunger ahead of G8 talks in Northern Ireland next week.

In addition to ending land grabs, the IF campaign is also calling for a clamp down on tax havens and greater tax transparency to ensure corporations pay the tax they owe.

Philippa Bonella, SCIAF's Head of Communications and Education and a spokesperson for the IF campaign, said: "Hunger is the biggest scandal of our time. It is unacceptable that when there is enough food in the world for everyone, one in eight people in the world still go hungry and a child dies every 15 seconds because they don't have access to enough nourishing food.

"We are asking G8 leaders to show they have the political will to tackle the root causes of hunger. The decisions they make when they meet in Enniskillen shortly will determine whether millions of poor people across the world will suffer and die unnecessarily.

"They can prevent this by taking concrete action to put an end to land-grabs which see poor farmers evicted from their land so big businesses can make huge profits by growing biofuels for our cars and not food for those in need."

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