Feeding the World – Land, Hunger and Human Rights

Hunger is the world’s number one health risk. It kills more people every year than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. The world produces enough food to feed everyone yet one in seven people on our planet go to bed hungry each night.
In recent years, this problem has been compounded by changing weather conditions, escalating food prices, the global financial crisis, and the soaring demand for land as investors look for places to grow food for export, biofuels, or as an investment.

For already impoverished communities, this means that not only has land become even more out of reach, but all too often people are kicked off their land, in some cases forcibly and without compensation, after having been there for several generations. Loss of land can also deeply affect identity and connection to culture and tradition. For women, who have key responsibilities for feeding their families and for sustaining culture, loss of rights and access to land poses a huge challenge.
Competition for land is a constant factor in human history. It’s not necessarily a problem when wealthy companies invest in agricultural land in poor countries for commercial use. But when families are displaced with nowhere to go, people are unable to feed themselves and livelihoods are taken away as a result, that’s a very big problem indeed.
By 2050, it is estimated that demand for food will have grown by 70% globally. Can we meet this demand? How can we manage competition for land in a way that is fair to those who have the least power? And what are the rights and responsibilities of corporate investors?

What can we do to help prevent further abuse of human rights, displacement and to ensure that poor communities can access land to grow food and generate income?  

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  • Venue York Theatre, Seymour Centre, The University of Sydney,
  • Date & time 6/06/2012 6:00:00 PM

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