Common land has been disappearing at a very high rate in all countries and this process has accelerated since the 1970s. Developers, whether private or governmental, have sought means to remove land from commoners and allocate it to people they felt could manage it better. Throughout the world commoners have then been encouraged to work for those whose property the land became or to move to towns. In Brazil, for example, peasant communities are evicted from the land to make way for agro-industry. Where previously the land had supported thousands, it then becomes the exclusive property of a single combine or family. In Africa and other regions with nomadic populations, enclosure has dramatically effected what used to be a sustainable lifestyle.
From 1945 to 1993 in the UK 30% of rough grazing disappeared with 90% of meadow land, 50% of lowland woodlands, heaths and fens, together with 140,000 miles of hedgerow. Since 1963 80 commons had been deregistered. Since 1980 local authorities there were no longer required to provide "equally advantageous land" when they took over open space for development.