Today is Blog Action Day and this year’s theme is ‘The Power of We’. It’s a perfect opportunity to celebrate the power of people in making change happen.
We’ve seen people power in many guises over the last year, from large scale movements like the Arab Spring and Occupy, to people making a stand on social media against the stigmatisation of mental health illnesses or of victims of sexual violence. People are using their voices and technology to join together against discrimination, cruel governance and injustice.
The Power of We has been called on by many NGOs working on poverty and suffering, and today we’re using Blog Action Day to raise awareness of Oxfam’s latest campaign on one of the key drivers of hunger – land grabs.
Land grabs are, put simply, the result of land acquisition deals going wrong. Oxfam’s report Our Land, Our Lives explains the size and scale of the problem. Every six days an area the size of London changes hands in developing countries. Often, this land has been used by communities for farming, and when they are thrown from this land, they are plunged into food insecurity, not to mention losing their homes and security, and even their lives.
Oxfam has highlighted the World Bank as an institution who could, as an investor in land deals itself as well as a standard setter and influencer in the sector, make a huge impact. By freezing it’s investments in large scale land acquisitions for six months, it could get its own house in order as well as make a clear statement to the sector that it must do more to ensure land deals do not result in land grabs.
The Power of We is needed on this campaign – the World Bank is so far refusing to freeze investments and needs further pushing. You can sign Oxfam’s petition to make your voice heard and sign up for further involvement, tweet at the @worldbank using #landgrabs and share videos and infographics.