Tuesday, October 8, 2013

[biofuelwatch] Are some rich firms' land grabs not the real deal?





http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24369-are-some-rich-firms-land-grabs-not-the-real-deal.html

Are some rich firms' land grabs not the real deal?


[Excerpts:]


Carlo Hamelinck of Ecofys, a consultancy that advises the European Union, investigated 66 of the largest land transactions recorded by Land Matrix. The deals covered more than 26 million hectares, but Hamelinck could only find evidence of signed deals covering 9 million hectares, or 35 per cent of the supposed total.


Among the "incorrect" entries, he found that a report of a 2 million hectare scheme to grow the biofuel Jatropha in Andhra Pradesh, India, "seems to be based on nothing more than the government's biofuel ambitions". Meanwhile, a 250,000-hectare sunflower project in Benin, west Africa, reported to have gone through six years ago, had no presence on the ground – and the Italian company involved seemed to be defunct.

The Land Matrix is hosted by the International Land Coalition, an NGO that campaigns on community land rights. Its funders and partners include the European Commission, government ministries in France, German and the Netherlands, academic institutions such as the University of Bern in Switzerland, and NGOs such as Oxfam and Action Aid.




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

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