The conference agenda provides an overview and details of sessions. In order to view sessions on a specific day or for a certain room, please select an appropriate date or room link. You may also select a session to explore available abstracts and download papers and presentations.
08-01: Lessons from a Decade of Large Scale Land-Based Investments
The global land rush 10 years on: Taking stock of commercial pressures on land
IIED, United Kingdom
Pressures on land and natural resources are growing in many low and middle-income countries. This trend partly reflects long-term changes in national societies, linked to population growth, changing land use and socio-economic differentiation. But it is also the result of global market and policy forces, which in recent years have fuelled a wave of large-scale land investments in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Dubbed “land grabbing” by the critics, these processes have triggered lively debates about development pathways and control over resources. There is a substantial body of research on the scale, drivers, features and early outcomes of these land investments. But with a few important exceptions, much research has primarily focused on specific sectors, particularly agriculture, and changes in global markets since mid-2014 have significantly changed the international commodity landscape. Building on a global research project and drawing on data from multiple global databases, repositories or platforms, this paper takes stock of evidence on changing commercial pressures on land and resources, and related responses in policy and practice. The paper takes an integrated approach to understanding commercial pressures on land and natural resources, and considers evolutions both in patterns of actual investments and in the wider frameworks governing them.
International Land Deals for Agriculture. Fresh insights from the Land Matrix: Analytical Report II
1GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Germany; 2University of Pretoria; 3University of Bern
Large-scale land acquisitions continue to be an important
issue for governments, development organisations, NGOs and
farmers’ organisations all over the world; this remains the case
even in times of global economic slowdown, recession and
crisis. The scale of this trend and its significant impacts on rural
transformation and livelihoods make it necessary to further
monitor, observe and positively influence such deals wherever
The Land Matrix Initiative is a global partnership which aims
to improve transparency around large-scale land acquisitions. It
collects and provides data and information through a network
of global and regional partners.
This report aims to contribute to the body of knowledge available
on land acquisitions in low- and middle-income countries by
presenting an up-to-date analysis of the data contained in the
Land Matrix database and providing complementary evidence
based on case studies. It provides a concise overview of general
trends and developments, as well as regional and local insights.
In particular, the report gives an update on recent developments,
zooms in to focus on the key target regions, investigates who
acquires land and discusses emerging evidence on the impacts
of large-scale land acquisitions. Additionally, through a number
of case studies, it provides
insights into realities on the ground.
Sustainable livelihoods in the global land rush? Archetypes of livelihood vulnerability and sustainability potentials
University of Bern, Switzerland
Large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) have become a major concern for land use sustainability at a global scale. A considerable body of case studies has shown that the livelihood outcomes of LSLAs vary, but the understanding of factors and processes that generate these livelihood outcomes remains controversial and fragmented in terms of cases, contexts, and normative orientations. This study presents a meta-analysis of 44 systematically selected studies covering 66 cases in 21 countries to explain varying livelihood impacts. Results show that LSLAs affect livelihoods through a small set of archetypical configurations. Adverse outcomes arise most frequently from processes of (1) enclosure of livelihood assets, (2) elite capture, (3) selective marginalisation of people already living in difficult conditions, and (4) polarisation of development discourses, and less frequently from (5) competitive exclusion, (6) agribusiness failure, and (7) transient jobs. The processes are activated in specific configurations of social-ecological factors. Moving beyond diagnosis, the paper identifies archetypical potentials for safeguarding or enhancing sustainable livelihoods in LSLA target regions at multiple levels of decision-making. Finally, we analyse how contextual factors modify these general insights. The results can be used to better link local case studies with regional and global inventories of the global land rush.