Tuesday, December 13, 2011

PANGEA report on biofuels and land grabbing



http://www.ascension-publishing.com/BIZ/LandgrabStudy.pdf

New report from something called PANGEA, on biofuel growing and land grabbing. For the businesses and are involved in growing biofuels.

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Most significant bit I can see says, in advice to investors:

4. If the costs of sustainable and fair production are not economically viable, then perhaps the project should not be carried out.
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Exec summary says:


PANGEA considers land tenure systems in Sub-Saharan Africa to be one
of the greatest challenges underpinning the land grabbing debate. PANGEA prepared this analysis for its members in order to inform them of the enormous and often overlooked role land tenure systems play in the contentious issue of land grabbing, which is currently prevalent in developing countries and more specifically in Sub-Saharan Africa. It therefore seeks to illustrate how biofuels themselves are not at the root of the land grabbing quandary and simultaneously aims to identify steps investors, governments and civil society must take to improve the quality of land deals in these Sub-Saharan countries.

By analysing the tenure systems of three countries in distinct political regions in Sub-Saharan Africa: Ethiopia, Mali and Sierra Leone, PANGEA identified the following weaknesses that facilitate instances of land grabbing in these countries:

1. Lack of secure land rights
2. Lack of functional and consistent institutional framework
3. Lack of transparency between the various stakeholders in land deals
4. Lack of consistent community consultation
5. Lack of environmental and social impact assessments


PANGEA analysed these weaknesses and recommends that the following
steps be taken by the various stakeholders (the government, then investors and the community or civil society) in order to avoid the occurrence of land deals that may be classified as land grab:


Recommendations for Host Governments:

1. Strengthen the country's tenure system by: carrying out comprehensive land use planning; strengthening land rights via land certification and registration; improving monitoring and enforcement of laws and investment requirements; ensuring transparency and public scrutiny of deals.

2. Ensure accountability to the people they represent

Recommendations for Investors:

1. Understand local tenure system, including its weaknesses;

2. Conduct inclusive and extensive social and environmental assessments and follow its recommendations;

3. Sign up to recognised certification schemes to make sure product was
produced sustainably and contributed to the development of local
community;

4. If the costs of sustainable and fair production are not economically viable, then perhaps the project should not be carried out.

Recommendations for Host Communities and Civil Society

1. Work with local groups to help inform, educate and support their claims to land and to make sure they have representation;

2. Create incentives for skill transfer – legal, representative – so locals can advocate on behalf of vulnerable communities;

3. It is necessary that local communities embrace their voice and capacity to influence land deals.

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and here is how Biofuels Digest sells it:

http://biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2011/12/13/the-big-land-grab-whats-at-stake-for-biofuels-and-you/

The Big Land Grab: what's at stake for biofuels, and you?

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Biofuels are a wide range of fuels which are in some way derived from biomass.

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