News / 2 July 2012

Land grabbing by pension funds and other financial institutions must be stopped

Last week the Agricultural Investment Summit took place in London, seeking to promote land as an emerging and expanding investment opportunity. Civil society organisations are concerned that this could lead to further land grabbing, threatening the livelihoods and food security of countless local communities in the global South. In a joint civil society statement Both ENDS urges pension funds and other financial institutions to stop such damaging investment practices.


Millions of hectares of land in the global South were leased or procured in recent years, dispossessing peasants, herders and other rural households of their means to feed themselves and their communities. Agribusiness, hedge funds and state-owned development institutions are involved in these practices but pension funds are reported to be the largest institutional investors in farmland worldwide. This means retirement savings might be involved in massive human rights violations.

Both ENDS is one of 65 civil society organisations and activist groups undersigning the statement. They feel that states are obliged to ensure that pension funds and other financial institutions:

- Stop speculation on land and other damaging investments in the global food chain.
- Publicly disclose complete information about any direct or indirect financing of land acquisitions.
- Be subject to mandatory, prior and independent assessment of the potential impacts of investments and products.

High food prices and an increasing demand for agrofuels are no excuse for speculative, destructive land grabbing practices, and governments must act accordingly. The full statement is available here

For more information contact Burghard Ilge: 020 530 6600 or

photo: P. Casier


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