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06-10: Agribusiness Investment, Land Tenure, and Land Use
Rubber Boom and Land Use Dynamics in Southwest China: Driving Force and Its Impact on Carbon Balances
1Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany; 2University of Hohenheim, Germany; 3Peking University, China
The objective of this study is to explore the trajectory of land use change of smallholder rubber farmers in XSBN and empirically examine its driving factors as well as evaluate its implications for local environment regarding carbon balances. The analyses use the household survey data of some 600 smallholder rubber farmers conducted in 2013 in XSBN, and the collected second-hand time series data such as GDP and the prices of rubber and other crops in the past three decades. Follow the Seemingly Unrelated Time Series Equations framework (SUTSE), we develop a structural model to estimate the changes in land use pattern in XSBN. A simple land use allocation model is established to analyze the impacts of farmers’ socioeconomic characteristics and geographical conditions on their decisions of land use for rubber farming. Finally, follow the Rapid Carbon Stock Appraisal (RaCSA) method, we estimate the carbon stocks of land use systems of all sample households in XSBN over the past three decades. The results provide critical information on the trajectory of rubber expansion and land use change in XSBN, and is intended to support discussions on the future of rubber based land use system and its sustainability.
Gender Norms and Gendered Impacts of the Oil Palm 'Land Rush' in Indonesia
1Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Indonesia; 2University of Brighton, UK; 3University of Indonesia, UK
Gender issues are relegated to the periphery in current debates and approaches concerning the sustainable governance of oil palm. However, ongoing research by the Center for International Forestry Research in collaboration with University of Brighton, University of Indonesia and the Rights and Resources Initiative in Indonesia points to the critical roles that women play as workers, smallholders and members of affected communities. Oil palm expansion is displacing local women from land on which they cultivate food crops. Women workers’ contributions to production are either less visible, rendering them as shadow workers, or women are over-represented in the ‘casual worker’ category, with limited entitlement. Male community leaders and household heads have a greater voice in decision-making process. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) could be a platform to raise gender awareness, hold producers accountable and offer lessons for other standards in the sector. However, the RSPO principles and criteria, guidance and auditing mechanisms conflate gender with other forms of discrimination and view gender issues as beyond RSPO boundaries. Greater specificity and clarity in the P&C are needed and so is guidance on selection, training and evaluation of social auditors. RSPO must also learn from good practices in other certification schemes.
The Impact Of Large-Scale Land Development Deals That Remain Unimplemented
1Dept of Geoscience, University of Copenhagen, Denmark; 2Faculty of Forestry, National University of Laos, Laos
Many land deals are never implemented or only partially so and more knowledge is needed regarding the ways in which unimplemented or abandoned projects affect local communities. We use empirical interview-based case-study evidence of the first three years of a large-scale biofuel project in northern Laos, examining the negotiation processes of a partially abandoned project and its effect on local people’s land access and their perceived tenure security. The project negatively affected local land use and community members’ land rights. Political pressure on administrative actors to increase economic development in poor provinces and districts, limited consideration of proposals and priorities from villages, combined with officials’ lack of experience of negotiating large contracts and limited attention paid to exit conditions created a strong bargaining-position for investors. However, the investment project helped the government policy to move away from the traditional, subsistence-oriented land use, towards commercially oriented agricultural production. In this way, we argue that the land grab continues after the original investor is gone.
Where Effective Governance is Absent, Ineffective Governance Becomes the Obvious: Interrogating Large Land Acquisition Processes and its Impacts on Investment Projects in South West Cameroon. The Case of Herakles Farms.
University of Melbourne, Australia
This paper will examine how the conventional top-down approach used in large-scale land allocation to foreign investors undermines the effective implementation of land investment projects in Cameroon. Long-held customary land used by communities in the South West Region to sustain rural livelihoods is under ‘grab’ by foreign investors for the development of commercial oil palm plantations without the consent of those on the land. This paper will argue that the approach used to acquire land is elite- dominated, corrupt, and shapes prospects for local resistance, which in turn negatively affects the effective implementation of investment projects despite government’s approval. The study will advocate the need for effective land governance policies – suggesting a re-visitation of the existing politico-administrative and legal instruments governing land use and management in the country, with emphasis on the need to practically engage local communities in land deal negotiation and implementation processes. Without these, I argue that local communities will continue to contest the establishment of commercial agricultural projects on ancestral land despite its promises in enhancing local economic development.