Defending Resource Rights


The Presbyterian Hunger Program accompanies communities and civil society organizations as they come together to challenge systems that generate hunger, poverty and injustice. We support advocacy campaigns that aim to improve policies or corporate practices that impact fundamental rights to water, food, land and other natural resources.

In today’s globalized world, with the high demand for food, water, energy and other resources, poor communities that depend on these resources for their survival often face challenges to ownership, management of, and access to their natural resources.  These communities are confronted with problems of seed monopolies, land grabbing, mining pollution and trade policies that favor foreign investors over people.

Powerful actors such as governments, private investors, multinational corporations and multilateral banks motivated by profit set policies that favor large-scale extraction of resources with minimal or no benefits for local communities.

Responding to poverty through projects is not enough if systems that create or perpetuate hunger and poverty are not properly identified, analyzed and challenged.  PHP supports the rights of local communities to protect their natural resources and livelihoods from destruction by large investment projects.

Much of PHP’s work defending resource rights is done through the Joining Hands initiative.

Some focus areas for our campaign work are:

Food and Land: PHP supports efforts that promote the right of people to produce culturally appropriate food through ecologically sustainable methods.  We also support local communities’ efforts to defend their land rights.

Extractive industries: PHP supports communities impacted by pollution from mining by campaigning for the protection of the environment and health; holding extractive corporations accountable for their financial, social and environmental obligations; and advocating for transparency in payments made by extractive industries corporations to governments.

Trade: We support greater transparency in trade agreements so that foreign investors’ rights are not privileged over citizens’.  We advocate for trade agreements that protect workers, consumers, the environment, and public health, and ensure the protection of human rights.