Newsletter no 41 – Editorial

Beyond land – Territory and food sovereignty

Illustration by Luisa Rivera /

Land has always been a highly contested good. Control over land and related resources reflect the power relations in a country/region, and are an indicator of existing social injustices. At the same time, these resources are central to the rights, livelihoods and identity of small-scale food producers, and they have been at the heart of the food sovereignty movement from its beginning.

This issue of the Nyéléni Newsletter is the second edition this year dedicated to the theme of land. In a historical review, we look at how land-related struggles have evolved over the past decades, starting with demands for agrarian reform to a more comprehensive framing, which asserts people’s and communities’ close and multi-faceted relationships to their territories.

Despite persistent challenges to people’s struggle for land, this issue celebrates important victories and features the ingeniousness of communities around the world to assert their rights and manage their territories. Social organizations are finding ways to include emerging issues such as the challenges of climate change and digital technologies into their struggles. In the light of aggressive digitalization, financialization and authoritarianism, as well as an increasing overlapping of agrarian and ecological questions, we point out the need for movements to revive and refocus their strategies.

FIAN International