Scotland’s leading expert on land rights will outline how increased pressure on the world’s resources is impacting on the poor in Scotland and around the world.

Speaking at Friends of the Earth Scotland’s free public conference on land rights in Edinburgh this Saturday 28 May, author Andy Wightman will argue that in Scotland, land reform is needed to ensure young people can obtain affordable housing, to ensure communities see the benefits of the use of natural resources such as marine renewables and to build a resilient society where decisions over land are taken in the interests of the wider community. He will also highlight issues of land rights in Palestine, where he recently visited.

Andy Wightman, author of ‘The Poor Had No Lawyers’, said:

“Friends of the Earth Scotland’s vision that everyone should enjoy a healthy environment and a fair share of the earth’s resources cannot be achieved without strengthening land rights across the world, without restoring rights which have been unlawfully taken, and without land reform to achieve greater fairness.”

Stan Blackley, Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“In many countries in the Global South, land traditionally used by local communities is being leased or sold to corporations and private investors to grow commercial crops such as palm oil and soy. Natural forests are being chopped down to make way for commercial plantations, resulting in a permanent loss of biodiversity and contributing to climate change. Land grabbing results in communities being evicted from their land, and often leads to human rights violations.”

The event will include workshops on biofuels, hosted by Kenneth Richter, Biofuels Campaigner, Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and on indigenous rights, a case study from West Papua with Benny Wanda, West Papuan independence leader.

The conference takes place in The Drill Hall, 36 Dalmeny Street, from 2-5pm on Saturday 28 May.

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact:

Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
t: 0131 243 2719

Notes to Editors

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s land rights conference www.foe-scotland.org.uk/AGM-landrights

Friends of the Earth Scotland is

Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across ScotlandPart of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups – covering every continent.
www.foe-scotland.org.uk