Imagine you live in a small village in Africa. You and your family cultivate a small plot of land, graze livestock on village land and collect fire wood from a nearby forest – just as your grandparents and great grandparents did. Then, one day, everything changes. A big car arrives in the village with company officials and the chief district officer. You are told that the company and the government have signed a lease that gives the company a large area of land – including your plot, rangeland and forest. The visiting officials are upbeat – there will be jobs, a village school and a clinic as result. But you have heard promises before, and you were let down. You stand to lose all that you have – the land that feeds your family and that you belong to. All for an uncertain future. You rightly ask: “Will the jobs materialise? Will I get one? Why should I give up my farm to work on somebody else’s plantation?”
After six years of being a subsidiary of IIED, the Foundation for International Law and Development (FIELD) has re-established itself as an independent NGO. FIELD works with local partners, NGOs and institutions and has a worldwide reputation for expertise in the development and application of international environmental law and for siding with the disadvantaged.