Conference Agenda

Session Overview
07-12: Valuing and Compensating Farm Land and Commons
Wednesday, 22/Mar/2017:
2:15pm - 3:45pm

Session Chair: Leon Verstappen, University of Groningen, Netherlands, The
Location: MC 9-100


Natural and Social Capital Valuation: Piloting a Bottom-Up Approach to Valuing the Commons and Paving the Way for Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal

Daphne Yin1, Yijia Chen1, Jeffrey Hatcher1, Santosh Bhandari2, Pete Watt2, Pratiti Priyadarshini3, Rahul Chaturvedi3, Jagdeesh Rao3, Peadar Davis4, Paul Bidanset4

1Indufor North America, United States of America; 2Indufor Asia Pacific, New Zealand; 3Foundation for Ecological Security, India; 4Ulster University, United Kingdom

This paper will present and analyze the development of a new tool to value community assets that links community-level engagement, remote sensing, and computer-assisted mass appraisal methods. The tool integrates social capital analysis as a proxy for tenure security in areas with un-registered property rights.

The project members developing the valuation approach include an international forestry valuation firm, a leading Indian NGO and a university department specialized in real estate valuation.

The project is being conducted in four phases:

1. Review of existing methods to value non-market assets including natural capital, ecosystem services, and cultural sites.

2. Construction of a social capital scoring system and development of a mobile application for bottom-up valuation engaging community members

3. Examining the steps required to integrate remote sensing datasets to scale up the valuation process, and to generate data for computer-assisted mass appraisal to identify the most significant contributors of value

4. Field testing of the valuation tool in six commons in Rajasthan, India with differing ecology, tenure status and uses.

The research currently underway will support the development of robust, scalable and transferable tools and approaches to calculate the value of common land, particularly to the communities who rely upon it.


Detemining Minimum Compensation for Lost Farmland: A Theory- Based Impact Evalution of a Bio-Ethanol Multinational Company in Sierra Leone

Joseph Saffa, Mohamed Sorie Conteh, Lansana Hassan Sowa

Sierra Leone Network on the Right to Food (SiLNoRF), Sierra Leone

The land grabbing issue has produced a plethora of debates ranging from ethical conduct of land grabbing agents, specifically concerning displacement, to evidence for and against positive externalities such as technological spill-overs and construction of infrastructure. An underexplored topic is the valuation of agriculture land and the compensatory payments made to land users, distinct from land owners, for the loss of their source of food security. This paper establishes a theoretical framework for the valuation of agricultural land from the perspective of land users, based on a household production function. For the analysis data were collected in a survey of 203 household in a land grab affected area in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone in 2013. It shows that for this case the compensatory payment receive by land users are far below the value of land lost and as such the lease income is unable to allow these households to maintain their previously, already tenuous, levels of food security. This study shows since the value of land is determined by local law the project could correctly call itself compliant but the land grab still resulted in significant welfare losses affecting mostly the vulnerable section of the local population.


Guarding Against Land-expropriation-related Mass Incidents (LERMIs): Practical Evidence From China's Local Governments

Siliang Wang1, Shukui Tan1, Lu Zhang1, Conghui Cheng2

1Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China, People's Republic of; 2Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, People's Republic of

In China’s rural areas, the vast majority of mass incidents were related with land expropriation. In this paper, we intend to show how China’s local governments guard against land-expropriation-related mass incidents (LERMIs) at the practical level. We first construct a comprehensive theoretic framework to define the boundary, to uncover the incentives, and to recognize the features of involved practices, then, on the basis of description evidenced by detailed cases, break various practices down into two categories, the common local practices which refer to the nationwide top-down responses to the unified deployment by the central authority that aims to mitigate discontentment of land-deprived peasants and reduce probabilities of conflicts, and the specific local practices which are always heterogeneous tactical approaches to reduce the probabilities of disputes or conflicts evolving into group actions. We further argue that both of them follow a central tenet of instrumental orientation. As to the former, it is corroborated by local governments’ paying more attention to promote the stylization and quantification in the aspects of regulating procedure, formulating and renewing compensation standards, resolving disputes, and evaluating risks, while the latter is mainly reflected from the outcome-orientation organization strategies to maintain overall stability in a relatively short term.


Do rehabilitation institutions from land acquisition fit with farmers’ preferences? Results from a contingent ranking experiment in India

Vikram Patil1, Ranjan Ghosh2, Vinish Kathuria3

1Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, India; 2Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala, Sweden; 3SJM School of Management of Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India

Large scale land acquisitions for developmental work around the world lead to displacement of near about 10-15 million people annually. Majority of them, especially in developing countries, end up being worse off. We argue that institutional fit can render rehabilitation measures effective. This is shown empirically through a contingent ranking experiment on 200 farmers in the catchment area of a large-scale irrigation project in India. Results suggest that landowners, given a choice, prefer land or employment based compensation over the existing method of monetary compensation. In the context of land acquisition and associated rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R), we find that preference as an indicator of acceptance helps contextualize institutions. Our results come at a critical juncture where newly enacted land acquisition policies in India are facing huge political resistance. It provides concrete evidence that the design of R&R needs to include landowners’ preferences.