the land

Uluru at sunset. Photo: Chris Ford via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Australia's time to recognise indigenous peoples' sovereignty

Harry Hobbs
UNSW
| 26th May 2017
For 80 years Australia's Aboriginal peoples have called for land rights and sovereignty, writes Harry Hobbs. And for 80 years they have been ignored or brushed aside. But now delegates meeting at Uluru have issued a 'statement from the heart' demanding constitutional reform to empower Indigenous people to take 'a rightful place in our own country'. Their call must be heard!

Read Article

No more jaguars here: a worker picks up African palm fruit for processing into palm oil from a young tree in Minas, Colombia, April 25, 2016. Photo: Carlos Villalon / Solidarity Center via Flickr (CC BY).

Palm oil engulfs Colombia's 'mountains of the jaguar'

Paula Álvarez
Forest Peoples Programme
| 23rd May 2017
Thousands of small farmers were forced from their lands and homes by paramilitaries in Colombia's Santa Maria mountains, writes Paula Álvarez. But now as a welcome peace allows their return from involuntary exile, they find a new enemy that has come to stay - huge plantations of oil palm that have obliterated the mixed, patchwork landscape of small fields, villages, and swathes of forest on steep-sided hills that they used to inhabit.

Read Article

Greenham Farm smallholders. Photo: Abbie Trayler Smith / ELC.

Ecological agriculture: investing today in tomorrow's farms

Phil Moore
| 22nd May 2017
Ecological farming has taken root in the UK, writes Phil Moore: drawing inspiration from the past while employing the latest ideas and techniques from organic, no-dig, permaculture, agroecology and agroforestry methods. But with agricultural fields selling for up to £10,000 an acre, there's a big difficultly for many would-be eco-farmers: access to land. Now, with public support, that's a problem the Ecological Land Cooperative is determined to solve.

Read Article

'That Roundhouse' near Newport in Wales, built by Tony Wrench and Jane Faith and helpers as part of the secret Brithdir Mawr intentional community. In the UK this kind of eco-living is strongly linked to 'progressive' politics and values, but that's not a

Green nationalism? How the far right could learn to love the environment

Peter Paul Catterall
University of Westminster
| 12th April 2017
Myths of a pagan past in harmony with nature have been a feature of green nationalism, writes Peter Paul Catterall, from its beginnings through to the Anastasia ecovillages in contemporary Russia where - unlike their equivalent hippy communes found in the West - sustainable living is combined with a 'reactionary eco-nationalism'. Could it happen here too?

Read Article

The rich, deep color of this soil and high organic content shows exactly what healthy soil looks like. A diverse blend of crops, grasses, and cover crops creates a protective blanket that feeds and nurtures the soil. Photo: USDA-NRCS photo by Catherine Ul

How to feed the world? The answer lies in healthy soils

David R. Montgomery
University of Washington
| 7th April 2017
There's only one real faultline in farming, writes David R. Montgomery, and it's not the one between organic and 'conventional'. What really matters is whether farming systems are building, improving and nurturing soils - or exploiting them for short term gain. And if we want to keep humans well fed and healthy for the long term, there's only one choice to make.

Read Article

Last November 17, 2,000 police rushed onto farmland to enforce land measurement for Kertajati Airport. Photo: Walhi Jawa Barat.

Indonesia: Villagers resist eviction for 50 sq.km airport city on their land

Rose Bridger
| 5th April 2017
Ten villages and surrounding farmland have already been wiped from the map for a 50 sq.km airport and surrounding 'aeropolis' or airport city in West Java, Indonesia, writes Rose Bridger. And while investors are offered an 'attractive incentives plan', villagers are subject to fierce state repression and brutality. Now only a single village remains standing, but residents continue to resist eviction and demand an end to the project.

Read Article

'Water is our first Medicine' - Water Protectors locked onto machinery, halting construction two days after the Dakota Access pipeline company bulldozed sacred burial sites. Photo: UnicornRiot.Ninja via Prachatai on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Dakota Access Pipeline: Native American religion matters!

Rosalyn R. LaPier
Harvard University
| 8th November 2016
The intimate connection between landscape and religion is at the center of Native American societies, writes Rosalyn R. LaPier, and a key reason why thousands of Native Americans and Indigenous peoples from around the world have traveled to the windswept prairies of North Dakota. There is no excuse for the ignorance and disrespect of corporations, and government.

Read Article

Brazil's Zo'é tribe are starting to recover from epidemics in the 1980s and '90s now that their land is protected. Photo: Survival International.

Brazil's Olympic triumph - don't mention the genocide!

Lewis Evans
| 25th August 2016
In the thick of the Olympic frenzy, one voice that was systematically excluded from mainstream narratives is that of Brazil's Indigenous Peoples, writes Lewis Evans, who have fought to survive through centuries of dehumanisation, theft and genocide. And now they face a fresh attack as a proposed constitutional change, PEC 215, threatens a new round of indigenous land theft.

Read Article

Munduruku indigenous people set up a sign to demarcate their land. Photo: Greenpeace.

Brazil's indigenous peoples fight Amazon dams threat

Helle Abelvik-Lawson
| 1st August 2016
Brazil's new neoliberal government is intent on building a massive new dam deep in the Amazon rainforest on the on the Tapajós river, writes Helle Abelvik-Lawson, obliterating the indigenous territory of the Munduruku people in defiance of their constitutional rights.

Read Article

The Grand Canyon. Photo: Aftab Uzzaman via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

'Altogether valueless' - how the Grand Canyon transformed our sense of natural beauty

Stephen Pyne
Arizona State University
| 15th June 2016
The first white people to encounter the Grand Canyon saw nothing but a gigantic obstruction, writes Stephen Pyne, devoid of any charm, beauty or value. That it is today an icon of American landscape, a 'natural wonder' known and revered around the world, creates hope for the long term preservation of the Grand Canyon itself, the wider National Park network, and wilderness everywhere.

Read Article

You’re trashing our home town and we’ll have nowhere to go! Photo: pagansweare.com.

Jeju Islanders resist airport megaproject

Rose Bridger
| 10th June 2016
Communities on Jeju, South Korea's 'island of peace', are resisting a second airport that's threatening the island's farming, nature, culture and way of life, writes Rose Bridger. Linked mega-projects include an 'Air City' of shopping malls, hotels and offices, plus high-speed transport corridors, luxury resorts, casinos, theme parks and golf courses - all catering to wealthy outsiders.

Read Article

A Guarani woman at the roadside. Photo: Survival International.

The 'slow genocide' of Brazil's Guarani people must stop

Lewis Evans
| 3rd June 2016
Land theft, agribusiness and violence pose an existential threat to Brazil's Guarani people, writes Lewis Evans. They maintain a powerful resolve to regain their historic lands, and even have the law on their side - but the tribe will need international support to prevail against murderous ranchers and farmers, corrupt politicians and a paralysed legal system.

Read Article

"We must move away from viewing soil merely as a growth medium and treat it as an ecosystem in its own right." Photo: John Quinton.

Save our soils!

John Quinton
| 3rd June 2016
Britain's soils are in a bad way, writes John Quinton, and the government is doing little to help - indeed its policies are making the problems worse. So concludes yesterday's Environment Audit Committee report on soil health. But are ministers bothered?

Read Article

There are 300,000 landless 'family farmers' in Paraguay - but there's always plenty of pasture for the cattle of the latifundistas who own most of the land. Photo: Pozo Colorado, Paraguay by Arcadiuš via Flickr (CC BY).

Amid corruption, poverty and violence, Paraguay's rural poor fight for land and freedom

Toby Hill
| 27th May 2016
The closing down of a community radio station in eastern Paraguay is the latest example of political repression in the country with the most unequal land distribution in Latin America, writes Toby Hill, and in which the media are dominated by a tiny elite of the super-rich. As small farmers begin to reclaim the land that is rightfully theirs, landowners and the state they control are striking back.

Read Article

Once a mangrove forest full of life, now a sterile shrimp farm. The hard labour of destroying mangrove forests and building and operating shrimp farms is often performed by slaves. Photo: Tracy Hunter via Flickr (CC BY).

World must end slavery - for the environment as well as human rights

Kevin Bales
University of Hull
| 18th May 2016
Slavery is a terrible thing for the world's estimated 36 million slaves, writes Kevin Bales. But it's also an environmental disaster. Many slaves are forced to work in destructive activities like clearing forests for mines, farms and plantations - making slave labour the world's third biggest 'country' in terms of CO2 emissions. It really is time to end slavery!

Read Article

Farmers on the storm ... Madhya Pradesh, 31st July 2013. Photo: Rajarshi MITRA via Flickr (CC BY).

Militarism and Monsanto or Gandhi and Bhaskar Save? The agroecology alternative

Colin Todhunter
| 9th May 2016
The corporate war on traditional farming is nowhere fiercer than in India, writes Colin Todhunter. After decades of the 'Green Revolution' that have impoverished the nation's soils, water, biodiversity and cultivators alike, agribusiness is poised for its final strike. But now the small scale farmers who produce most of the country's food are rediscovering ancient agroecological alternatives.

Read Article

Maud Lake, Desolation Wilderness, El Dorado County, California. Photo: Blake Lemmons via Flickr (CC BY).

Wilderness is the salvation of the American West

George Wuerthner
| 9th May 2016
The quiet desperation of declining towns and cities across America's West is understandable, writes George Wuerthner. Of course people dream of the 'good old days' when there were wild prairies to be grazed, forests to be felled and oil wells to be sunk - and try to bring them back. But in so doing they neglect and abuse their real and enduring wealth: nature, landscape and wildlife.

Read Article

Drilling and blasting creates large volumes of radioactive dust. Photo: Andrey Serebryakov

Uranium mining threatens South Africa‘s iconic Karoo

Dr Stefan Cramer
| 28th April 2016
Almost entirely unknown to the outside world, and even to most local residents, hundreds of square kilometres of South Africa's Karoo dryland have been bought up by uranium mining companies, writes Dr Stefan Cramer. With no strategic assessment of the industry's devastating impacts and massive water demand, official permission could soon be granted for vast open pit mines.

Read Article

Loure's personal experiences, cultural background, and education put him in a unique position to lead the Ujamaa Community Resource Team (UCRT), an NGO that has championed community land rights and sustainable development in northern Tanzania for the past

Securing communal land rights for Tanzania's Indigenous Peoples

Sophie Morlin-Yron
| 25th April 2016
Commuting between land rights negotiations in the city and herding goats on the plains, Edward Loure is at once a traditional Maasai and a modern urbanite, writes Sophie Morlin-Yron. That ability to straddle the two very different worlds he inhabits has been key to his success at having 200,000 acres of land registered into village and community ownership - and his own 2016 Goldman Prize.

Read Article

An illegal clear-cut on steep-sided hills in Harghita County, just a small part of a much larger illegal clear-cut. Photo: Ecostorm.

Illegal loggers levelling Romania's Carpathian mountain forests

Katy Jenkyns
| 30th March 2016
Austrian timber giant Schweighofer claims to be working hard to ensure that the huge volumes of timber it buys from Romania's mountain forests are strictly legal, writes Katy Jenkyns. But an Ecostorm investigation has uncovered its purchase of illegally cut wood, its acceptance of fraudulent paperwork from suppliers, and the deep shadow of fear it casts over local communities.

Read Article

Red chilis grown by a traditional small-scale farmer in Morocco. Photo: Ali JAFRI via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Resisting the corporate stranglehold on food and farming - is agroecology enough?

Colin Todhunter
| 4th March 2016
Agroecology is key to retaking control over food, farming and land from the 'monstrous machine' of agribusiness, biotech, big finance and 'free trade', writes Colin Todhunter, as it represents a truly viable alternative to agriculture for corporate profit. But such are the powers ranged against the world's small farmers that it must be supported by a broad-based, global people's movement.

Read Article

At a memorial for killed occupier LaVoy Finicum, guns were openly displayed. Photo: Peter Walker.

After Malheur, the end of the beginning: war for America's public lands rages on

Peter Walker
University of Oregon
| 23rd February 2016
Those who value public lands - for economic, environmental, recreational and aesthetic values - owe a debt of gratitude to Harney County, Oregon, writes Peter Walker. A violent branch of the Sagebrush Rebellion came to town, and the community told it to go away: the decisive factor in the occupiers' defeat. But the greater war for America's public lands has only just begun.

Read Article

Sand dunes and beach at Druridge Bay, Northumberland, where a huge new opencast coal mine is planned. Photo: Fiona in Eden via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

No coal, no fracking: end fossil fuel production on UK soil by 2020!

Guy Shrubsole
Friends of the Earth
| 16th February 2016
The government makes bold claims about tackling climate change and phasing out coal power stations, writes Guy Shrubsole. Yet it's 'relaxed' about two huge new coal mines that would produce ten million tonnes of coal, blighting landscapes and afflicting the health of vulnerable communities. It's time to say no to all onshore fossil fuel production.

Read Article

In a 'Wild West' town like Burns, Oregon, federal officials can't afford to clash with local ranchers and politicians - no matter what the law says. Photo: Wolf / Nick Perla via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

After Malheur: Americans are losing control of our public lands

George Wuerthner
| 12th February 2016
The public interest is already derelicted by federal officials on the US's public lands routinely intimidated by aggressive local economic and political interests, writes George Wuerthner. And now it's only going to get worse, with media coverage of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge debacle uncritically promulgating the false narrative of over-zealous enforcement of regulations.

Read Article