Global justice campaigners publish map of human rights abusing land owners
LARGE tracts of land in Scotland are owned by an array of human rights abusers, work rights abusers and companies detrimental to the environment, according to the campaign group Global Justice Now
The group has produced an interactive map detailing what it says is the true nature of land ownership in Scotland with lists of seven global owners of capital who own hundreds of thousands of acres worth of estates.
This news comes as land reformers continue activities in this year’s Our Land festival, covered by CommonSpace, who have also focused regularly on stories of ownership and access to land such as the case of Andrew Stoddart.
"The Scottish Government must go further on land reform and fundamentally change Scotland’s absurdly outdated feudal system of land ownership which includes super-rich land barons like these." Liz Murray
Liz Murray, head of Scottish campaigns at Global Justice Now, said: “Our new research exposes some of the super-rich who own vast tracts of land in Scotland, and unearths some unsavoury connections between those land owners and scandals of worker exploitation, human rights abuses and disregard for the environment around the world.
"We’ve found examples of seven big landowners across Scotland who have been involved in unregulated fracking, land grabs and privatisation of national parks in Africa, large scale trade union busting and job cuts in Mexico and Brazil, abuse of workers’ rights in the UK, or human rights abuses around the world.
"The Scottish Government must go further on land reform and fundamentally change Scotland’s absurdly outdated feudal system of land ownership which includes super-rich land barons like these."
The seven are Anders Povlsen, who owns 15,000 acres and is Scotland's second largest land owner, Rio Tinto, Paul van Vlissingen, the Vestey family, the de Spoelberch family, Majid Jafar and Lovat Investments Ltd.
The Our Land festival will also look at more people having more chance of buying more land and making ownership accountable meaning that public land should be used for public good.
Scotland’s land ownership is notoriously described by land reform campaigners as unequal and has been described by Global Justice Now as "the most concentrated, most inequitable, most unreformed and most undemocratic land ownership system in the entire developed world".
The festival has been organised as part of a campaign to call on the Scottish Parliament and all political parties to be bolder on the question of land reform.
The Our Land campaign, launched on 12 August has five key demands of Scottish politicians, which are that everyone should know who owns land, that policy should encourage land to be used productively and that government taxes should help make land more affordable.
The festival will also look at more people having more chance of buying more land and making ownership accountable meaning that public land should be used for public good.
Picture courtesy of OurLand
Check out what people are saying about how important CommonSpace is. Pledge your support today.