Harvard's billion-dollar farmland fiasco | Land Portal | Securing Land Rights Through Open Data
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Resource information

Date of publication: 
September 2018
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
grain-6006
Pages: 
16
License of the resource: 

One of the world's major buyers of farmland is under fire for their involvement in land conflicts, environmental destruction and risky investments. A new report by GRAIN and Rede Social de Justiça e Direitos Humano presents, for the first time, a comprehensive analysis of Harvard University's controversial investments in global farmland.

The report finds that:

  • Harvard's endowment fund has spent around $1 billion to acquire control of an estimated 850,000 hectares of farmland around the world, making the University one of the world's largest and most geographically diverse farmland investors.
  • Harvard's farmland acquisitions were undertaken without proper due diligence and have contributed to the displacement and harassment of traditional communities, environmental destruction and conflicts over water. The consequences of these deals are particularly dire in Brazil, where Harvard's endowment fund has acquired nearly 300,000 hectares of land in the Cerrado, the world's most biodiverse savannah.
  • Harvard's opaque farmland investments resulted in windfall remunerations for its fund managers and business partners but have failed as an investment strategy for the university.

The report urges Harvard's students, faculty and alumni to:

  • Demand that the University's endowment fund ceases all its investments in farmland;
  • Take immediate measures to resolve all land conflicts associated with its current land holdings, and
  • Ensure that affected communities are adequately compensated for damages.

Authors and Publishers

Corporate Author(s): 

GRAIN is a small international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems. Our support takes the form of independent research and analysis, networking at local, regional and international levels, and fostering new forms of cooperation and alliance-building. Most of our work is oriented towards, and carried out in, Africa, Asia and Latin America.

logo_rede_social.gif

A Rede Social de Justiça e Direitos Humanos é resultado 
da experiência de trabalho com dezenas de organizações 
não-governamentais e movimentos sociais.

Nosso trabalho tem como objetivo responder a uma demanda 
de ação e articulação de denúncias de violações de direitos humanos ocorridas no Brasil e inclui:

· formulação de petições e submissão de casos a organismos nacionais e internacionais visando a proteção dos direitos humanos;

· participação em delegações emergenciais em áreas e situações de conflito;

· observação de julgamentos;

Publisher(s): 

GRAIN is a small international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems. Our support takes the form of independent research and analysis, networking at local, regional and international levels, and fostering new forms of cooperation and alliance-building. Most of our work is oriented towards, and carried out in, Africa, Asia and Latin America.

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