Chi mangia la terra?
This paper describes the phenomenon of land grabbing, the process of appropriation of arable land mainly located in the Southern countries and in the former Soviet Eurasia, by local, national and transnational elites, investors and governments of the developed and wealthy countries. Land grabbing is historically a very old phenomenon, which is now experiencing an acceleration due to the following factors: the food crisis and the need for food of insecure countries to secure a steady and low-cost food supply by outsourcing food production; the energy and the climate crisis, with the related need to diversify energy sources and thus with the increase in demand for agro-fuels; the financial crisis and the huge amount of capital flight from the traditional markets in search of more secure and profitable investment, which led to a sharp increase in speculation on land and food. Consequences of land grabbing are local communities’ reduced access and control over their lands and other natural resources, the impairment of ecosystems’ and environmental balances and the strengthening of inequalities and speculative mechanisms.
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