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Source: Alertnet // Chelsea Diana

Increased demand for biofuel production has driven farmers and forest communities from Brazil to Indonesia off their land, threatening those people’s wellbeing and food security, a report from GRAIN says.

Research conducted by the Spain-based non-profit, which supports small farmers, found growing need for biofuels has driven about 300 land “grabs” worldwide, forcing forest clearance and draining of wetlands, with Europe at the forefront of the global demand.

In the past decade, 17 million hectares, an area of arable land equal to the size of Germany, were taken from the control of local populations in South America, Africa and Asia, according to the report. Predictions show demand for biofuel reaching 172 billion liters by 2020, which would require an additional 40 million hectares of land to produce, GRAIN said.

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