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  • Biofuels contribute to land grab in Africa

    March 2, 2012
    by Alessandro Pasotti

    Biofuels fight (Copyright www.gentletude.com)

    The European Union’s biofuel policy continues to threaten food security and increase land grabs in Africa, shows a new report by the EuropAfrica, a campaign that connects African farmers, platform and First Information Action News (FIAN), an international human right organisation that has advocated for the realization of the human right to food.

    The report shows that 66% of the land grabs in Africa are intended for biofuel production, some 18.8 million hectares.

    Among the biggest investors are companies from Europe, as case studies from Senegal and Mali show, with European investments likely to increase further.

    “The European Union’s biofuel policy explicitly encourages increased production worldwide, imposing an export-oriented industrial farming model on food insecure countries,” Roman Herre from FIAN explains.

    “The policy does not provide any protection from land grabs in countries affected by hunger, which should be discouraged from producing biofuels destined for the European Union”

    The study further finds that the EU and its Member States violate their human rights obligations by not having conducted an adequate assessment of the impact of the biofuel policy on human rights and by not regulating European companies and financial actors.

    “The EU’s good intention to fight climate change by promoting renewable energy is turning into a disaster. Europe is outsourcing its production, getting a ready supply of biofuels at the expense of the environment and people in the developing world. Biofuels are a perfect example of how EU policies aren’t coherent with development objectives and the legal provision of policy coherence for development,” says Blandine Bouniol, Policy Coordinator at CONCORD, the European NGO Confederation of Relief and Development NGOs.

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