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An Alliance for Action Role play on Land Grabbing and the right to food 22-26 November 2010 Desmond Tutu Training Center Angeline Munzara Food Campaign Coordinator We are in Watooland a poor country whose main resources are agriculture and mining. 75% of the

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An Alliance for Action Role play on Land Grabbingand the right to food22-26 November 2010Desmond Tutu Training CenterAngeline Munzara Food Campaign

We are in Watooland a poor country whose main

resources are agriculture and mining. 75% of the

population lives off the land, of which ¾ are

sedentary and live on agriculture and ¼ are

nomads and live on livestock. 50% of the

population is illiterate. 45% of the population suffers

from malnutrition.

The country has recently become a democracy, but

the habits of corruption left by the dictatorship are

difficult to eradicate.

In good years, there is enough food for everyone.

Unfortunately in 2007 to 2009, a very dry weather

has meant that many villagers were forced from their

land. A rural exodus began to the capital (Watoolandia),

which receives more and more people, but jobs have not

followed. Farmers are increasingly unemployed leading to

urban poverty.

With the global food crisis, the global market

has become too expensive and the country suffers

from riots in the city and very difficult situations of

hunger in the countryside.

group discussions
Group 1-Gigagreenoil Company

You represent a group of investors in renewable

energy headquartered in Prussia. One of the

most economical renewable energy sources is ethanol made

from sugarcane.

You need to fill your orders, but the quantity of

sugar cane required is much higher, and prices on

world markets are very volatile so you try to

produce the sugar cane yourself.

Your goal is to meet the growing demand for bio

fuel by controlling the production and supply of a

portion of your needs, and remain the most

competitive in the market without depending on

fluctuations in the latter.

You have USD 1 million available for this project.

Group Discussions
group 2 government of prussia
Group 2-Government of Prussia

You represent the government of Prussia. Prussia is

party to the Convention on Climate Change, Universal

Declaration on Human Rights, International Covenant

on Socio-Economic and Cultural Rights and heavily

engaged in the FAO process of developing the Guidelines

on Responsible Governance and Natural Resources


You're a country with a very large population and

expanding economy. You can (and should) import much

food. In addition, the needs of grain and protein crops, to

feed a meat-producing industry are constantly increasing.

With the global crisis of 2008, the price of staple foods has

risen sharply, which has weighed heavily on your budget.

Your objective is to ensure a flow of raw materials and

thus control their production and supply. You have 2

million available to assist in the project.

group 3 government of watooland
Group 3-Government of Watooland

You represent the government of Watooland. Watooland

is party to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights,

the African Charter on Human Rights, the

International Covenant on Socio-Economic and

Cultural rights, the Convention on Biological Diversity and

party to the process of developing the FAO Voluntary

Guidelines on Land. The Constitution of Watooland vests

Ownership of communal land in the President of the country

though customary tenure rights are recognized.

You are aware of the difficulties of development in your

country. You have also inherited a huge foreign debt.

You have very little money coming in terms of taxes.

Your resources are international aid, but this implies

structural adjustments and the establishment of a

complex system of government. You also, of course

consider that the land belonged to the state (for non

titled land). Your objective is to reduce your debt and

ensure modernization of agriculture.

Group 4-Small-scale farmers

You are part of a larger community of hundreds of

very remote villages in central Watooland. On

average, each family has 0.4 hectares of unirrigated

land, which enables families to live mainly on

agricultural production. The land is near a water

point, has the best surface and is capable of producing

cassava, bananas and rice ( on a small scale). Besides a

few chickens, you also have goats that graze on

pastures of the village. From time to time, you sell

some of your production for a little cash to pay for

your children’s education. However, this income is

enough to send 1-2 children to school until the age of

15 whilst others help on the farm. The land is yours

because you have inherited and this is confirmed by

the village council. You have a few simple tools to

work the land, but no mechanization.

Your objective is to improve your income and if

possible to send your children to school and at

least one to university or abroad.

Group 5-Nomads/Pastoralists

You are part of a community of pastoralists whose

livelihood is based on cattle rearing. You rely on

grazing lands in the north of the country for

generations. in the north of the country for


You have, for some time, lost several grazing areas

because farmers have settled with their villages and set

them barriers.

But you still have a beautiful herd of about thirty

animals, and in good years, you can sell enough animals

so that the family lives well.

Your goal is to increase your flock and keep your

traditions and lifestyle.


Region semi-fertile (pastoralists)






Region Fertile

The Game is based on the original work (French version) by FIAN Switzerland on Land grabbing, October 2010 and has been considerably modified and translated by Angeline Munzara for EAA

Role Play on Land Grabbing


  • Introduction-15 minutes
  • Divide Participants into 5 groups. 
  • Each group receives a card describing its identity and its objectives.
  • Choose a negotiator for the group 
  • The groups have 10 minutes to discuss, agree on their strategy and negotiate
  • 35 minutes of bilateral discussions
  • Plenary discussion-30 minutes

Large industrial scale production, mainly from maize, jatropha, and sugar cane in Africa, threaten rural communities, farm workers, food security and the environment


Order of presentations

  • In the first round, "Gigagreenoil” must negotiate with the government of Prussia whilst the government of Watooland discuss with "peasants/nomads."(10 minutes)
  • In the second round, the government of Prussia must negotiate with the government of Watooland whilst Gigagreenoil negotiates with small scale farmers and pastoralists(10 minutes)
  • In the third round the government of Watooland further negotiates with government of Prussia and Gigagreenoil to reach a
  • decision based on previous
  • discussions (15 minutes)
  • iv) Plenary Discussions-
  • feedback
  • from the group (20 minutes)
  • v) Wrap up (10 minutes)
driving forces behind large scale land deals
Driving forces Behind Large Scale Land deals
  • Price volatility in global food market;
  • Surging demand for bio-fuels by oil companies; 
  • Expectation of subsidies for carbon sequestration through plantation and the avoidance of deforestation.
impacts of large scale land deals
Impacts of Large Scale Land Deals

i) destroys livelihoods and exacerbates tenure insecurity and evictions

ii) accelerates eco-system destruction

iii) accelerates the climate crisis

iv) diverts food producing resources and labor to cash crop production

case studies 2010 food and nutrition watch
Case Studies: 2010 Food and Nutrition Watch
  • Ethiopia - est. up to 528 000 ha sold or leased since 1996.
  • Mali - government granted Malibya 100 000 ha.
  • Sierra Leone - 20 000 ha leased in 2009 to Addax Bioenergy.
  • Kenya - government to provide for the exchange of USD2.5 billion loan, 40,000 hectares of land in the Tana River area.
towards a human rights based approach
Towards a Human Rights Based Approach
  • Large-scale land investments can negatively affect the right to food
  • Example: loss of agricultural land and grazing
  • States have obligations to protect, respect and fulfill this right.
de schutter s 11 principles on land investment
De Schutter’s 11 Principles on Land Investment
  • Include community participation in investment negotiations;
  • Obtain prior informed consent of communities;
  • Enact and enforce legislation that safeguards rights of host communities;
  • Use investment revenues for the benefit of local populations;
  • Ensure employment creation;
  • Use agro-ecological approaches to agriculture;
de schutter s 11 principles on land investment17
De Schutter’s 11 Principles on Land Investment
  • Ensure investment agreements have clear obligations;
  • Ensure a minimum % of food crops produced are sold locally;
  • Conduct participatory impact assessments;
  • Comply with indigenous peoples’ rights; and
  • Provide protection for agricultural waged workers.