Why the G8 initiative on transparency is not perfect

An Oxfam demonstration at Westminster, United Kingdom in December 2012 to stop land grabbing. The U.K. G8 Presidency is pushing for transparency of land deals and the extractives industry. Photo by: Andy Hall / Oxfam / CC BY-NC-ND

A G-8 proposed transparency initiative is already receiving criticism ahead of its expected launch on Tuesday.

Transparency is a top priority on this year’s summit in Northern Ireland. The U.K. Presidency is pushing for transparency in terms of land deals and the extractives industry, which have been a hot topic lately among the aid community as organizations raise concerns on their links to food insecurity and poverty.

But the Food First International Action Network, which advocated for the human right to adequate food, argues the initiative is an “inadequate solution” to address these concerns.

“This may make land grabbing more transparent, but not less detrimental,” FIAN program coordinator for access to natural resources Philip Seufert said in a statement.

Devex has yet to see the components of the initiative.

FIAN was one of the 40 organizations that in May released a statement in which they pointed out their concerns with the initiative, noting that the it does not guarantee a stop in land grabs and adding that even if the G-8 leaders launch the drive, it “has no democratic legitimacy to make decisions about land, food and nutrition.”

The statement called on G-8 leaders to implement the U.N. Guidelines on the Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests, the first international instrument that sets out recommendations on better governance of natural resources “anchored on human rights.”

“The proposed initiative pays only lip service to the Tenure Guidelines,” they argued.

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About the author

  • Ravelo jennylei

    Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.

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