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Article

29 Aug 2016

Author:
Chantal Hebberecht, European Union, in Reuters

Ethiopia: EU official denies allegations land project protecting investors while disadvantaging locals

"Responsible Land Governance in Ethiopia: Rising to the Challenge"

On 18 July 2016, the Thomson Reuters website featured an article...suggest[ing] that the European Union (EU) and the German government are colluding in “human rights abuses and brutal repression” through the land governance project (SRAI - Support to Responsible Agricultural Investments in Ethiopia) we launched on 15 July, 2016. The exact opposite is true.

Responsible investments in agriculture have the potential to unlock rural growth to the benefit of local communities. At the same time, the Ethiopian agricultural authorities recognise the challenges they face in the administration of land used for agricultural investments. The SRAI project is helping to establish an accountable and transparent framework for socially and environmentally responsible agricultural investments in Ethiopia based on international standards, including the Food and Agricultural Organisation's Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests. These guidelines revolve around respecting and safeguarding all tenure holders and their rights. The implementation principles include human dignity, equity, justice, transparency, accountability, consultation and participation.

The SRAI project will support the establishment of a regulatory framework for equitable access to land. It will also secure land tenure rights for local communities in areas surrounding commercial farms.