← Back to news feed

study warns unprecedented wave of land privatization

Posted: July 22 2020
Maungdaw, Myanmar - Farm laborers and livestocks are seen in a paddy field
in Warcha village April 2016. Image: FAO / Hkun La


From the Oakland Institute:

Driving Dispossession: The Global Push to “Unlock the Economic Potential of Land,” sounds the alarm on the unprecedented wave of privatization of natural resources that is underway around the world. Through six case studies—Ukraine, Zambia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, and Brazil—the report details the myriad ways by which governments—willingly or under the pressure of financial institutions and Western donor agencies—are putting more land into so-called “productive use” in the name of development.

Driving Dispossession highlights the United States as a key player in an unfettered offensive to privatize land around the world via US blockchain corporations, government agencies, and the World Bank. In Zambia, the Bank has partnered with a subsidiary of the US-based online retailer Overstock.com to use blockchain technology for land titling with the goal of “unlocking trillions of dollars in global mineral reserves that are inaccessible due to unclear land governance systems.” In Sri Lanka, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a US government entity, is targeting state land—it intends to map and record up to 67 percent of the country to “promote land transactions that could stimulate investment and increase its use as an economic asset.” In Ukraine, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund leveraged the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic to coerce “Europe’s breadbasket” into putting its agricultural land for sale in a land market.

--> READ the rest of Oakland Institute's press release for their report, here.