White Cliffs 'sold' in charity campaign
The photograph was taken from Samphire Hoe,
as two giant projectors projected the Sold sign onto the
cliffs. Photo by Kieran
The White Cliffs of Dover were
"sold" this morning as part of a campaign by Oxfam to combat land
grabs in developing countries.
Oxfam erected similar signs the
length and breadth of the British Isles from Barry Island to
Norfolk and from the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol to the
Angel of the North as part of their ongoing campaign to stop land
grabs, which leave poor people in Africa, Asia and Latin America
homeless and without access to the land they rely on for food to
eat and to make a living.
Oxfam is asking the World Bank to
freeze land deals for six months. This would enable communities who
otherwise would lose their land and their only means of feeding
Lisa Rutherford, who is Oxfam’s
Media Manager for Kent, said "With land the size of Kent being sold
off every 13 days in the world’s poorest countries, more and more
poor people are at risk of having their land grabbed from beneath
their feet. We wanted to sell the White Cliffs to bring home to
people in Kent the issue of land grabs. Land grabs often happen
with no prior consultation – imagine being thrown off your land
without warning and finding yourself homeless, landless, penniless
and at risk of violence".
In its report, Our Land, Our Lives,
international development agency Oxfam explains that land eight
times the size of the UK was sold off globally in the last decade,
enough to grow food for a billion people. This is the equivalent to
the number of people who go hungry in the world today.
The agency also warns that more
than 60 per cent of investments in agricultural land by foreign
investors between 2000 and 2010 were in developing countries with
serious hunger problems. And that the majority of those investors
plan to export everything that would be produced on that land,
leaving the local communities with no chance to feed
Oxfam says the World Bank must act
now to temporarily freeze its agricultural investments in land so
it can review its advice to developing countries, help set
standards for investors and introduce more robust policies to help
For more information on the campaign, visit www.oxfam.org.uk/sold
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