Buying the Farm: Protecting Human Rights and the Environment in the Face of Global Agricultural Expansion

Vol. 28 No. 2

Ms. Mance is an attorney practicing international commercial litigation and vice-chair of the ABA International Environmental Law Committee.

Though the practice of investing in foreign farmland is not a new phenomenon, the concurrence of recent global crises became catalysts for a modern, unprecedented rush on agricultural land around the world. Demands for food and energy, volatile commodity prices, land and water shortages, and population growth are driving the recent farmland investment boom, highlighting the need for agrarian reforms and resource management. This article will discuss the recent rise of foreign investment in farmland, the social and environmental costs to local communities, and the dilemma of how to enact necessary land reforms while also encouraging foreign investment.

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