CELADA is happy to announce that our roundtable on African land grabs, held on parliament hill on Feb. 25, 2014, was a resounding success thanks to the assistance of Hélène Laverdière, Member of Parliament for Laurier-Ste.Marie and official opposition critic for international development. With roughly 50 people in attendance, the event brought together Members of Parliament, academics, researchers and members of the development NGO community. The forum allowed these attendees to engage and debate with our speakers, who included Robert Fox, Executive Director of Oxfam Canada; Obang Metho, Executive Director of Solidarity Movement for the New Ethiopia; and Maggy Razafimbahiny, member of CELADA and development activist (biographies available here).
The discussion generated a number of ideas and suggestions to tackle the rising tide of land-grabs resulting in involuntary displacement of customary inhabitants in Africa and other developing countries. One proposal that CELADA is currently pursuing as a follow up to this event is to encourage the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development to hold a hearing to consider the views and recommendations of experts and, if possible, local residents from countries dealing with land grabs.
Please stay tuned for more updates on this next step. In the meantime, for more details on what was discussed at the roundtable and to learn more about CELADA’s motivation for organizing this event, please read:
Land-Grabs Expropriate Poor Farmers’ Livelihoods – a guest blog on the McLeod Group Blog written by CELADA’s Chair, Roy Culpeper.
Roundtable Outcomes Document – provides more details on the roundtable event discussed above.
As discussed in a previous post on October 30th, CELADA had the opportunity to meet with Hélène Laverdière, the Official Opposition Critic for International Cooperation and the Deputy Critic for Foreign Affairs. In discussing CELADA’s mandate and our mission to build awareness around the issue of land grabs in Africa, she proposed an event for MPs that would do just that.
As such, CELADA is pleased to announce that we will be hosting and event on Parliament Hill on February 25th, 2014. We will have the honour of doing so in partnership with Oxfam Canada and the Group of 78, and have an excellent group of speakers lined up. It is our hope is that the presentations and discussions at this event will build awareness and contribute to the dialogue on Canada’s role in tackling the issue of land grabs in Africa.
In addition to MPs and their staff, we will be inviting civil society and private sector actors who have played or will play an important role in the land grab debate within Canada. In light of this, please contact us if you know of someone who would like to contribute to the discussion as an attendee.
CELADA meets MP
OTTAWA – CELADA is pleased to announce that a small subgroup of its members had the opportunity to meet with Hélène Laverdière, the Official Opposition Critic for International Cooperation and the Deputy Critic for Foreign Affairs. In this meeting, held on Oct. 22nd, 2013, they were able to draw attention to the issue of land grabs, its impacts in the African context and the CELADA mandate.
Our members were particularly interested in highlighting the fact that Canada is relatively behind with respect to its Western counterparts when it comes to supporting some of the global initiatives to end land grabs. As such, Mme Laverdière was able to propose various options for action which CELADA will be pursuing in order to challenge this inertia and spur the current government into action.
Stay tuned for more updates on what these options for action will entail!
On October 2nd, 2013 Oxfam International published a press release which highlighted the release of their new report, Sugar Rush: Land rights and the supply chains of the biggest food and beverage companies. In the report, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Associated British Foods (ABF) stand accused of intensifying the rush for land (in Africa specifically but also worldwide) through their increasing demand for sugar.
In light of this situation, Oxfam is asking these three companies to understand and build awareness around the risks related to land issues, commit to zero tolerance for land grabs, offer full disclosure and transparency with respect to their sugar supply chains, lobby governments and corporations for improvements on land issues, and support equitable agricultural investments.
If you agree with these requests and wish to speak out, please visit their website and consider signing their petition here:
Our website now offers some new pages for people who are interested in contributing to the CELADA cause, but who are not quite sure where to begin.
We invite everyone to use our library of resources to learn more about the land deals that are currently threatening the lives of so many African people: http://celada.ca/learn-more/
If you agree that this an issue that we, as Canadians, should work to help resolve, we also encourage you to contact your MP and express your concern: http://celada.ca/contact-your-mp/
For more details, visit our Upcoming Meetings section. New members welcome!
Please stay tuned for more content and resources.