[WSMDiscuss] "The financialization of the world" : Vandana Shiva on 'natural asset companies' (NACs)

Pallav Das dpallav at gmail.com
Thu Oct 6 22:16:05 CEST 2022

Hello all,

I wanted to share a brilliant article on this issue, published on REDWeb
last winter. It's written by our colleague, Helena Paul, co director of
Econexus, Britain. Helena contends that as ecological services regulating
climate, and providing food, water, soil stabilization and cultural values
become scarce and gradually degrade, they become more attractive to
financial markets as economic assets for speculation and trade. Her article
also discusses the international "alternatives" challenging this insidious
attempt, often rooted in indigenous practices and wisdom. Take a look.


Helena, I wonder if you're on the WSM listserv? If not, perhaps Suren
Moodliar could help with that. Otherwise, you could send me your response
to the article below and I can post it on WSM.



On Thu, Oct 6, 2022 at 10:18 AM Brian <brian at radicalroad.com> wrote:

> *This is an important discussion with Vandana Shiva about 'natural asset
> companies' (NACs) — a lucid and essential read.*
> * ~ Brian *
> *____________*
> *Natural asset companies/NSACs have been invented "to convert natural
> assets into financial capital":  “It’s the final step of the
> financialisation of the world… it will mean the debt crisis will be used as
> a takeover of the real resources and the real wealth – land, forests,
> rivers, biodiversity,” *
> https://empirediaries.com/2022/10/02/vandana-shiva-on-natural-asset-companies/
> ‘Final Step Of The Financialisation Of The World,’ Says Vandana Shiva On
> Natural Asset Companies
> *Seed warrior and ecofeminist, Dr. Vandana Shiva, at the India
> International Centre in New Delhi during the Bhoomi Festival conducted by
> Navdanya on October 1, 2022 (EmpireDiaries.com <http://EmpireDiaries.com>)*
> Ratna <https://empirediaries.com/about/> and Nadim
> <https://empirediaries.com/about/>  EmpireDiaries.com
> <https://empirediaries.com/>
> *New Delhi, October 2, 2022:* Slowly, surely, and silently during the
> last few years, Wall Street hawks and their global allies have been
> plotting an unprecedented move – to capture the whole of nature and put it
> on sale.
> That imperialist blueprint is ready. A new type of corporations called
> NACs or *natural asset companies*, are being created to carry out the
> takeover of nature.
> Using these NACs, the imperialists want to colonise and own all of the
> world’s biodiversity and farmland, brand them as ‘natural assets’, turn
> them into commodities by stamping price tags, sell them off to powerful
> buyers, and monetise on a scale never seen or imagined.
> People who’ve lived on those lands, and off them, for generations would no
> longer have any rights to them. Only the new-born natural asset companies/NACs
> can exclusively own the commodified farmlands, forests, water bodies,
> reefs, wetlands, etc.
> The privately-controlled NACs are being created by the New York Stock
> Exchange (NYSE) and the Intrinsic Exchange Group (IEG). The land grab
> project is funded <https://www.intrinsicexchange.com/> by the Rockefeller
> Foundation, IDB (Inter-American Development Bank), and Aberdare Ventures.
> Seed warrior and anti-imperialism naturalist, Dr. Vandana Shiva, is
> alarmed at the coming commodification of entire nature for profit. “It’s
> the *final step* of the financialisation of the world… Financialisation
> through the new model of financial asset companies, which is aiming at
> 4,000 trillion dollars, will mean the debt crisis will be used as a
> takeover of the real resources and the real wealth – land, forests, rivers,
> biodiversity,” Dr. Shiva told *Empire Diaries
> <https://empirediaries.com/>* during the Bhoomi Festival hosted by the
> Indian International Centre in New Delhi and organised by Navdanya, a
> farmer rights and biodiversity conservation group.
> Dr. Shiva, who spent decades saving India from patent imperialism, fears
> that NACs, once rolled out successfully, will use local governments and
> local agents to uproot the bottom billion from biodiversity and farmlands.
> “It’ll mean total poverty and deprivation for the people who’ve taken care
> of these resources. That’s because, sadly, most governments are indebted
> [financially, to the outside world]. Most governments are seeking credit
> where it can come from. So, they *will* be falling into the trap,” she
> said.
> “Therefore, sovereignty over our land, sovereignty over our seeds,
> sovereignty over our food, sovereignty over our water have become vital.
> Not just as systems of democracy and freedom, but as systems of sustenance
> and staying alive.”
> The Wall Street imperialists’ agenda is evident from the audacious style
> in whichnatural asset companies are described on the websites of the New
> York Stock Exchange and the Intrinsic Exchange Group.
> Here’s what the New York Stock Exchange says on its website
> <https://www.nyse.com/introducing-natural-asset-companies>:
> *“The NAC is a transformational solution whereby natural ecosystems are
> not simply a potential resource to extract, but an investible productive
> asset which provides financial capital to responsible stewards of
> ecological resources. As a publicly traded equity, NACs will enable
> investors to allocate capital efficiently to meet their sustainability
> objectives…*
> *To convert natural assets into financial capital, IEG has developed an
> accounting framework to measure ecological performance. Natural assets
> produce an estimated $125 trillion annually in global ecosystem services,
> such as carbon sequestration, biodiversity and clean water.”*
> While the NACs are defined here in sugar-coated language, the New York
> Stock Exchange’s website has given us enough hints of an imperialist agenda
> to profiteer from nature. Notice phrases such as: ‘investible productive
> asset’, ‘financial capital’, ‘publicly traded equity’, ‘investors to
> allocate capital’, ‘accounting framework’, ‘measure ecological
> performance’, and ‘natural assets’.
> The New York Stock Exchange’s website also tells us precisely what is
> being targeted in the imperialist swoop:
> *“Examples of natural assets that could benefit from the NAC structure
> include natural landscapes such as forests, wetlands and coral reefs, as
> well as working lands such as farms.”*
> Dr. Shiva shed light on the modus operandi of the coming land grab by
> natural asset companies.
> “In a globally integrated world, they (the new imperialists) don’t need
> local companies. What they will have are servicing agents. Just as much as
> the existing financial world has involved most of the bright minds of
> India. They’re working for the banks and investment companies,” she said.
> “So, what they will do is spread their tentacles of new slavery – through
> government systems, through new structural adjustment programmes, and
> through new climate conditionalities.”
> The activist, firebrand orator, and ecofeminist, who inspires women around
> the world to resist farmland imperialism, fears the climate crisis will be
> hijacked and misused by NACs to push their hidden agenda.
> “Climate change is something to which I dedicated such a long time of my
> life, and I’ve written about it in my book *Soil Not Oil*. Sadly, climate
> change will be the means and mechanism through which the financialisation
> of land, of biodiversity, of water will take place,” Dr. Shiva said,
> underlining the trend of empires capitalising on crises to colonise land.
> So, is it a cold-blooded imperialist plan to use the climate emergency and
> launch NACs?
> “Well, one would not have imagined that. It’s just that in the last year,
> Bill Gates came out with his book *How To Avoid A Climate Disaster* where
> everything is written clearly – such as net zero,” she said, pointing to
> last year’s heightened concerns about climate action.
> Dr. Shiva trashed the concept of net zero, suggesting that it’s mere
> gimmickry because it doesn’t actually advocate stopping CO2 emissions. “Net
> zero just means getting someone else’s land for carbon sequestering, carbon
> sinks, and carbon offsetting,” she explained.
> By applying the net zero rule, major corporations with giant carbon
> footprint “can destroy a primary forest and offset it by a little park
> somewhere else that they’ll plant. This idea of offsets has emerged very
> fast last year, but it’s very clear that big schemes like this don’t get
> born in a year, they’ve only emerged last year”.
> Dr. Shiva fears there’s a hidden agenda behind the alarmist narrative
> surrounding the ongoing global food crisis.
> The popular paid media outlets are repeatedly telling the world that the
> Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine caused the worldwide food crisis. But
> Navdanya International recently came out with a scathing report
> <https://navdanyainternational.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/SOWING-HUNGER-REAPING-PROFITS-REPORT-d2.pdf>,
> explaining the untold root cause of the crisis.
> “What is crucially being overlooked by most diagnoses of the current food
> crisis is how the problem does not lie in a lack of supply, or lack of
> market integration, but instead in how the food system is *structured
> around power*,” the report observes.
> “The main agenda is to take total control over food, and replace real food
> with fake food and lab food,” Dr. Shiva warned. “As their slogan is – *farming
> without farmers and food without farms*.”
> She compared the current discourse about a food supply crisis with a
> similar manufactured narrative during the 1960s that saw the imperialist
> imposition of the so-called ‘green revolution’ in India.
> “The green revolution was introduced during a year of drought, but it was
> presented as a year of famine when nobody had died. I was old enough to
> know that. Prices of wheat had increased, but there was no famine in India.
> That’s the narrative that the green revolution told to introduce chemicals
> [into Indian farming practices],” she said.
> The narrative of hunger – that there’s more hunger than last year – is
> hiding the real causes of global hunger, she feels.
> “Today, why is an abundant land like Africa hungry? Firstly, they’ve been
> made dependent on imports. Secondly, they’ve been prevented from growing
> their own food and have food sovereignty… The scarcity is part of the past
> injustice. And the new scarcity is because of the new injustice of the
> financial world having entered food.”
> So, precisely when did the opportunistic globalists start plotting the
> takeover of nature and food?
> “They did it in 2008, with the Wall Street collapse. That’s when the
> financial world said: ‘Buildings are not secure enough. But everyone will
> always need land and food. And if we enter this business, we will never
> lose,’” she said.
> Dr. Shiva, who has written multiple books on the corporate agenda to turn
> agriculture into agribusiness, believes the worst thing to happen to the
> food industry is the arrival of financial interest groups.
> “Financial companies have entered the food business. This year’s food
> price increase is 87% because of financialisation and financial
> speculation,” she said. “So, if we project into the 4,000-trillion-dollar
> economy sought through natural asset companies, [we can see] the
> integration of chemicals, biotechnology, informational technology, and the
> financial world, what they call fintech.”
> Slamming the crafty use of the so-called progressive term ‘tech’ as a
> means of colonial takeover, Dr. Shiva said, “Ag-tech, fin-tech, bio-tech –
> all of this with the attachment of the word ‘tech’ is the big takeover of
> the food system.”
> Dr. Shiva lamented that society slipped from the simplistic days of barter
> to the complex financialisation of nature and food systems. She slammed
> destructive episodes in recent history, such as the British stealing $45
> trillion from India, and the birth of the World Bank and the IMF, which she
> says were “created to continue the colonial experiment. For every dollar
> they lent, they generated three dollars of business for themselves”.
> “That’s why, for me, Navdanya is so important,” said the
> scientist-environmentalist. “It’s what keeps reality alive. It’s what keeps
> hopes alive. It shows that every time a scare is created, there are women
> who say they’ll never give up our farming, they’ll never give up their food.
> “About 35 years ago, I started saving seeds and created community seed
> banks. We now need seed banks of knowing how to live without the financial
> slavery, knowing how to live without the seed slavery of the Monsantos and
> the Bayers, and without the new food slavery that Mr Gates would like to
> create.”
> _________
> *REPUBLISH! Feel free to repost this article on the following terms: (1)
> Use the writers’ bylines at the start, (2) Hyperlink this post, (3) Mention
> our website EmpireDiaries.com <https://empirediaries.com/> with a
> hyperlink.*
> _______________
> *Blog: https://murphyslog.ca <https://murphyslog.ca>Twitter:
>  @BrianKMurphy2 *
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