The Power of Oil Palm

Land grabbing and impacts associated with the expansion of oil palm crops in Guatemala: The case of the Palmas del Ixcán company.

Access to land is critical for the survival of millions of households in developing countries that depend on it for their food security and livelihoods. Yet land holdings, especially of the most fertile land, are highly concentrated.  In recent years the accelerated scale and pace of large-scale land acquisitions has signaled a global land rush, and evidence is mounting that the price being paid by affected communities is unacceptably high.

This case study focuses on the Palmas del Ixcán company and the social, environmental and economic effects of its oil palm plantations on local communities in northern Guatemala. The evidence gathered reveals practices that violate people's basic rights and indicates lack of a thorough impact assessment, of effective democratic planning, and of contract transparency.

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