To the framers of the U.S. Constitution, property was as sacred as
life and liberty. The inalienable
right to own -- and control the use of -- property is perhaps the single
most important principle responsible for the growth and prosperity of America.
It is a right that is being systematically eroded.
Private land ownership as well as the use of public lands to benefit
individuals is not compatible with socialism, communism, or with global
governance as described by the United Nations. Stalin, Hitler, Castro,
Mao -- all took steps to forcefully nationalize the land as an essential
first step toward controlling their citizens. The UN, without the use of
military force, is attempting to achieve the same result. (The progressive
The land policy of the United Nations was first officially articulated
at the United Nations
Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat I), held in Vancouver, May
31 - June 11, 1976. Agenda Item 10 of the Conference Report sets forth
the UN's official policy on land. The Preamble says:
"Land...cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by
individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market.
Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of
accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes
to social injustice; if
unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation
schemes. The provision of decent dwellings and healthy conditions for
the people can only be
achieved if land is used in the interests of society as a whole. Public
control of land use is therefore
indispensable...." The Preamble is followed by nine pages of specific
endorsed by the participating nations, including the United States.
Here are some of those recommendations:
(b) All countries should establish as a matter of urgency a national
policy on human settlements,
embodying the distribution of population...over the national territory.
(c)(v) Such a policy should be devised to facilitate population redistribution
to accord with the
availability of resources.
(a) Public ownership or effective control of land in the public interest
is the single most important
means of...achieving a more equitable distribution of the benefits
of development whilst assuring
that environmental impacts are considered.
(b) Land is a scarce resource whose management should be subject to
public surveillance or control in the interest of the nation.
(d) Governments must maintain full jurisdiction and exercise complete
sovereignty over such land
with a view to freely planning development of human settlements....
(a) Agricultural land, particularly on the periphery of urban areas,
is an important national resource; without public control land is prey
to speculation and urban encroachment.
(b) Change in the use of land...should be subject to public control
(c) Such control may be exercised through:
(i) Zoning and land-use planning as a basic instrument of land policy
in general and of control of
land-use changes in particular;
(ii) Direct intervention, e.g. the creation of land reserves and land
banks, purchase, compensated
expropriation and/or pre-emption, acquisition of development rights,
conditioned leasing of public
and communal land, formation of public and mixed development enterprises;
(iii) Legal controls, e.g. compulsory registration, changes in administrative
boundaries, development building and local permits, assembly and replotting.
(a) Excessive profits resulting from the increase in land value due
to development and change in
use are one of the principal causes of the concentration of wealth
in private hands. Taxation should
not be seen only as a source of revenue for the community but also
as a powerful tool to encourage development of desirable locations, to
exercise a controlling effect on the land market and to redistribute to
the public at large the benefits of the unearned increase in land values.
(b) The unearned increment resulting from the rise in land values resulting
from change in use of
land, from public investment or decision or due to the general growth
of the community must be
subject to appropriate recapture by public bodies.
(a) Public ownership of land cannot be an end in itself; it is justified
in so far as it is exercised in
favour of the common good rather than to protect the interests of the
(b) Public ownership should be used to secure and control areas of
urban expansion and protection; and to implement urban and rural land reform
processes, and supply serviced land at price levels which can secure socially
acceptable patterns of development.
(b) Past patterns of ownership rights should be transformed to match
the changing needs of society and be collectively beneficial.
(c)(v) Methods for the separation of land ownership rights from development
rights, the latter to be entrusted to a public authority."
This document was located in the archives of the
UN library in Geneva, Switzerland
The official U.S. delegation that endorsed these recommendations includes
familiar names. Carla
A. Hills, then-Secretary of Housing and Urban Development became George
Bush's Chief trade
negotiator. William K. Reilly, then head of the Conservation Foundation,
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Among the NGOs
organizations) present, were: International Planned Parenthood Federation;
World Federation of
United Nations Associations; International Union for the Conservation
of Nature (IUCN); World
Association of World Federalists; Friends of the Earth; National Audubon
Society; National Parks and Conservation Association; Natural Resources
Defense Council; and the Sierra Club.1
These ideas came to America in the form of the Federal Land Use Planning
Act which failed twice
in Congress during the 1970s. Federal regions were created and the
principles of the UN land policy were implemented administratively to the
maximum extent possible. NGOs were at work even then, lobbying for the
implementation of UN land policy at the state and local level. Both Florida
and Oregon enacted state Comprehensive Planning Acts. Florida created state
districts and multi-county agencies to govern land and water use. Most
states, however, were slow to embrace the UN initiative toward centralized
planning and land management.
By 1992, the UN had learned to tone down its language and strengthen
its arguments. The UN,
working in collaboration with its incredible NGO structure, operating
at the behest of the
International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN); the World
Wide Fund for Nature (WWF); and the World Resources Institute (WRI), made
sure that the decade of the 1980s was awash with propaganda about the loss
of biodiversity and the threat of global warming.
The foundation for the propaganda campaign may be found in three publications
by the UN and its NGO collaborators: World Conservation Strategy, (UNEP,
IUCN, WWF, 1980);
Caring for the Earth, (UNEP, IUCN, WWF, 1991); and Global Biodiversity
IUCN, WRI, 1992). These documents, along with Our Common Future, the
report of the 1987
Brundtland Commission (UN Commission on Environment and Development)
set the stage for Earth Summit II, the UN Conference on Environment and
Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
This conference produced Agenda 21, the ultimate plan of action to
save the world from human
activity. The document echos the 1976 document on land use policy,
though in somewhat muted
terms. From Section II, Chapter 10 (page 84):
"Land is normally defined as a physical entity in terms of its
topography and spatial nature; a
broader integrative view also includes natural resources: the solid,
minerals, water and biota that the land comprises. Expanding human requirements
and economic activities are placing ever
increasing pressures on land resources, creating competition and conflicts
and resulting in
suboptimal use of both land and land resources. It is now essential
to resolve these conflicts and
move towards more effective and efficient use of land and its natural
resources. Opportunities to
allocate land to different uses arise in the course of major settlement
or development projects or in a
sequential fashion as land becomes available on the market. This provides
protected status for conservation of biological diversity or critical
"The broad objective is to facilitate allocation of land to the
uses that provide the greatest
sustainable benefits and to promote the transition to a sustainable
and integrated management of
(a) To review and develop policies to support the best possible use
of land and the sustainable
management of land resources, by not later than 1996;
(b) To improve and strengthen planning, management and evaluation systems
for land and land
resources, by not later than 2000;
(d) To create mechanisms to facilitate the active involvement and participation
of all concerned,
particularly communities and people at the local level, in decision-making
on land use and
management, by not later than 1996.
"(c) Review the regulatory framework, including laws, regulations
and enforcement procedures, in
order to identify improvements needed to support sustainable land use
and management of land
resources and restrict the transfer of productive arable land to other
(e) Encourage the principle of delegating policy-making to the lowest
level of public authority
consistent with effective action and a locally driven approach.
"(a) Adopt planning and management systems that facilitate the
integration of environmental
components such as air, water, land and other natural resources using
planning... for example, an ecosystem or watershed;
(b) Adopt strategic frameworks that allow the integration of both developmental
and environmental goals; examples of those frameworks include...the World
Conservation Strategy, Caring for the
The UN-funded Commission on Global Governance
considers the environment (including land) to be
Between 1976 and 1992 a new strategy for land use control was devised.
It is subtle, sinister, and
successful. Reread 10.6(e) above: "Encourage the principle of
delegating policy-making to the
lowest level of public authority consistent with effective action and
a locally driven
approach." The reference to "public authority" here
is not to elected city councils or county
commissions. The reference is to newly constituted "stakeholder
councils" or other bodies of "civil
society" that consist primarily of professionals functioning as
representatives of NGOs affiliated with national and international NGOs
accredited by the United Nations. This strategy is becoming
Earth Summit produced other documents which directly affect private
property rights and land use: the Convention on Biological Diversity, which
authorized the production of the Global Biodiversity Assessment (GBA).
The GBA is a massive, 1,140-page document that supposedly provides
the "scientific" basis for
implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity and other environmental
treaties. It discussesland-use extensively (approximately 400 pages). Some
of the more poignant revelations may be found in Section 220.127.116.11 (page
"Property rights are not absolute and unchanging, but rather a
complex, dynamic and shifting
relationship between two or more parties, over space and time."
The legal approach to this UN view of property rights is discussed
in Section 18.104.22.168 (pages
"Plants and animals are objects whose degree of protection depends
on the value they represent for
human beings. Although well intentioned, this specifically anthropocentric
view leads directly to the subordination of biological diversity, and to
its sacrifice in spite of modern understanding of the advantages of conservation.
We should accept biodiversity as a legal subject, and supply it with
adequate rights. This could clarify the principle that biodiversity
is not available for uncontrolled
human use. Contrary to current custom, it would therefore become necessary
to justify any
interference with biodiversity, and to provide proof that human interests
justify the damage caused to biodiversity."3
Under the UN's concept of land and resource management, the owner is
not even considered as onewho may have a right to determine how his land
is to be used. It is a higher authority that representsthe "community"
to whom "proof" must be offered that a proposed use is justified.
This process effectively separates the right of ownership from the right
of use, an objective discussed in
Recommendation D.5(c)(v) of the 1976 document. And who, exactly, is
this "higher authority" to
whom proof must be presented? The authority envisioned by the UN is
not local elected officials,
but rather local "stakeholder councils" dominated by NGO
Most Americans are totally unaware of this relentless, 20-year campaign
by the UN to gain control
over land use around the world. Many people believe that the UN is
a distant, benevolent do-good
organization that is expensive, but which has no direct affect on America.
Nothing could be further
from the truth.
The 1992 Earth Summit also produced the UN Commission on Sustainable
Development and a new international NGO called Earth Council. Earth Council,
located in Costa Rica, is headed by
Maurice Strong, Secretary General of Earth Summit I and II, the first
Executive Director of the
United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and a director of World
Resources Institute (WRI). The function of Earth Council is to coordinate
the work of national councils on sustainable development. Currently more
than 100 nations have created national councils for the purpose of implementing
Agenda 21 at the national level.
In America, The President's Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD)
was created by Executive Order in 1993, and presented its report, Sustainable
America, A New Consensus, in 1995. It is a compilation of 154 action items
patterned after Agenda 21, to be implemented in America. At the November,
1995 meeting of the PCSD, Council members who were also Cabinet members
announced that at least 67 of the action items could be implemented "administratively,"
without Congressional involvement. The document provides 16 "We Believe"
statements, which embrace the 27 principles articulated in the Rio Declaration
from Earth Summit II. Among those statements is this:
"We need a new collaborative decision process that leads to better
decisions; more rapid change;
and more sensible use of human, natural, and financial resources in
achieving our goals."
The report says further:
"...society outside of government -- civil society -- is demanding
a greater role in governmental
decisions, while at the same time impatiently seeking solutions outside
government's power to
decide. Our most important finding is the potential power of and growing
desire for decision
processes that promote direct and meaningful interaction involving
people in decisions that affect
The election process and representative government created by the U.S.
Constitution is clearly
unacceptable to the PCSD, which wants "civil society" (read:
NGO dominated stakeholder councils) to become the local authority for not
only land use decisions, but for a variety of other policy decisions as
The PCSD report says (page 113):
"What has become clear is that the conflicts over natural resources
increasingly are exceeding the capacity of institutions, processes, and
mechanisms to resolve them. The Council endorses the concept of collaborative
approaches to resolving conflicts."
Conflicts arise because:
"Privately owned lands are most often delineated by boundaries
that differ from the geographic boundaries of the natural system of which
they are a part. Therefore, individual or private decisions can have negative
ramifications. For example, private decisions are often driven by strong
economic incentives that result in severe ecological or aesthetic consequences
to both the natural system and to communities outside landowner boundaries."
In plain english, the PCSD has determined that private land owners
make land use decisions that are inconsistent with the land use principles
laid down in the Global Biodiversity Assessment,
Agenda 21, and the 1976 report of the UN Commission on Human Settlements.
To solve this
problem, the PCSD issued the following recommendations (page 115):
"Action 1. The President should issue an executive order directing
federal agencies under the
Government Performance and Results Act to promote voluntary, multistakeholder,
approaches toward managing and restoring natural resources.
Action 2. Governors can issue similar directives to encourage state
agencies to participate in and
Action 3. Public and private leaders (within the constraints of antitrust
institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and individual citizens
can take collective
responsibility for practicing environmental stewardship through voluntary,
Action 4. The federal government should play a more active role in
building consensus on difficult
issues and identifying actions that would allow stakeholders to work
together toward common goals. Both Congress and the executive branch should
evaluate the extent to which the Federal Advisory Committee Act poses a
barrier to successful multistakeholder processes, and they should amend
regulations to help accomplish this."4
Interestingly, a recommendation of the PCSD's Population and Consumption
Task Force, which was not included in the final report, said: "The
President and Congress should authorize and
appoint a national commission to develop a national strategy to address
national population distribution that have negative impacts on sustainable
Compare this recommendation to Recommendation A.1 from the 1976 Habitat
Implementation of the UN's land use philosophy is well under way in
America, and is now being
accelerated through the use of the "collaborative process"
using stakeholder councils. The 1973
Endangered Species Act has been expanded administratively to now cover
not only endangered
species, but the habitat which a listed species may wish to use --
even though the habitat may be
privately owned. This policy breathes life into the GBA recommendation
to extend legal rights to
biodiversity. It, in fact, clarifies "the principle that biodiversity
is not available for uncontrolled
The legal status of biodiversity has been further elevated by the Vice
Management Policy," which places biodiversity protection at the
same priority level as human
health, and which further instructs officials to consider human beings
to be a "biological resource"