In “Competition over Resources: Drivers of Insecurity and the Global South
,” author Hannah Brock examines how an increased demand for non-renewable resources
could lead to insecurity
and contribute to local and international discord. The first of four papers examining what the Oxford Research Group
has identified as the “most important underlying drivers of insecurity,” the paper focuses on competition over resources – specifically energy
, and food
– and argues that “a new way of approaching security is needed, one that addresses the drivers of conflict: ‘curing the disease’ rather than ‘fighting the symptoms.’” Through numerous examples, Brock illustrates the various strategies that nations are currently undertaking to satisfy demand and cautions that “where northern states and corporations buy access to southern resources, regulatory principles may be required to ensure this competition does not impair the human rights and security of local populations.”
A new briefing paper from Oxfam, “Land and Power: The growing scandal surrounding the new wave of investments in land,” heavily criticizes the rising trend of foreign land acquisitions, or “land grabs,” that have occurred since the 2007-08 food prices crisis, calling them an infringement on the rights of more vulnerable populations and decrying their environmental impact. The authors use case studies in Uganda, Indonesia, Guatemala, Honduras, and South Sudan to argue that land grabbing is a type of “development in reverse.” “National governments have a duty to protect the rights and interests of local communities and land rights-holders,” Oxfam writes, “but in the cases presented here, they have failed to do so.” The authors conclude with recommendations to improve transparency and shift power more towards local rights.