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Date: 24 May 2012

The law pertaining to food issues and natural resources exploitation and trade

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Background

The link between natural resources and food is too obvious to have to be proven right. Every one of us can experience it in everything we eat that comes from the earth’s resources. It follows that food issues concerning trade in natural resources also seem obvious. What is not obvious, however, is the way the connection may be made between the various forms of natural resources exploitation and trade on the one hand and the worldwide consequences in terms of food supplies on the other hand.

Needless to say it partly depends on the way the scope of natural resources is defined. According to the WTO, natural resources consist of ‘the material stores that can be found in their natural environment which are both rare and economically useful either in the raw state or after a minimal transformation’ [1]. The scope is thus limited and mainly covers fishing and forestry products, fuels, ores, and other ferrous or non-ferrous minerals. We would prefer to consider a broader meaning whi