From: srfood OHCHR <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, Nov 18, 2010 at 11:19 PM
Subject: Your contribution to the Report 'Access to Land and the Right to Food
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Dear Madam, Dear Sir,
Earlier this year, you submitted a communication to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Mr Olivier De Schutter, replying to the Call for Cases on Land rights and the Right to Food that he had launched in December 2009.
We would like to sincerely thank you for your submission. The Special Rapporteur presented his report "Access to land and the right to food" last month in New York at the 65th General Assembly. This report is available on the website of the Special Rapporteur in English, French and Spanish, and in the six U.N. languages on the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (report A/65/281).
The report "Access to land and the right to food" shows that up to 30 million hectares of farmland are lost annually due to environmental degradation, conversion to industrial use or urbanization. The resulting pressures on those depending on land for their livelihoods are further exacerbated by the expansion of agrofuels and the speculation on farmland. The report identifies ways to confer legal security of tenure upon farmers, fishers and indigenous people affected by these pressures. It also asks how agrarian reform can be promoted as an alternative to the global enclosure that we are currently witnessing.
Your contribution was vital in enabling Mr De Schutter to depict the global situation of access to land and the right to food. The Special Rapporteur received 117 cases following the public call, which he analysed in a background paper that was made available at the same time than his report. This document also provides an overview of 115 letters of allegations sent to Governments by the Special Rapporteur in the period from 2003 to 2009 concerning rights related to the use of land and the right to food. The letters concerned 89 different cases in 36 countries. The cases reveal some similarities and trends which shed light on how issues of land use affect peoples' enjoyment of their right to food. Almost every case reported instances in which communities or individuals have been evicted or lost access to land or were facing the threat of eviction or of loosing access to land.
Mr De Schutter has also called for new international initiatives on land investments and land tenure to be strongly anchored in the right to food during the 36th session of the Committee on World Food Security, which was held in Rome on 11-15 October, and he publicly welcomed the outcome of this session which encourages the continuation of the work on Voluntary Guidelines for the responsible governance of tenure of land and other natural resources.
The team of the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food
If you would like more information on the work of the Special Rapporteur, please visit his website and subscribe to the newsletter about his work.
Mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Postal Address: UNOG-OHCHR, CH1211 Genève 10, Suisse
Tel: +41 22 917 9643/ 917 96 97
Fax: + 41 22 917 90 06