Conference Agenda

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.

Session Overview
06-09: Outside Investment at Forest Frontiers: Curse or Blessing?
Wednesday, 21/Mar/2018:
10:30am - 12:00pm

Session Chair: Liz Alden Wily, independent, Kenya
Location: MC 9-100


Land Trafficking: Agribusiness, Titling Campaigns and Deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon

Juan Luis Dammert

Oxfam, Peru

This paper focuses on the politics of agribusiness expansion in peripheral areas of the Peruvian Amazon. The paper analyzes the mechanisms through which forested land is brought into the land market for agrarian purposes and the unintended role played by titling campaigns –supposedly aimed at regularizing the spontaneous occupation of the Amazon– in the expansion of the corporate agribusiness frontier. The legal requirements for forest conversion into agriculture are overlooked in titling campaigns, unlike the cases of corporate projects in which there is a stricter scrutiny. In this context, buying titled lands has become an attractive avenue for plantation development to skip environmental requirements. This situation has led to intensified colonization of forested lands to acquire titles and sell them to interested parties. The paper shows how the titling mechanism has been used perversely to promote processes of deforestation and land grabbing and characterizes this dynamic as land trafficking.


Land Formalization Turned Land Rush: The Case of the Palm Oil Industry in Papua New Guinea

Caroline Hambloch

SOAS, University of London, United Kingdom

This paper uses the case study of Papua New Guinea to engage with the debate around customary land formalization processes, derived from Hernando de Soto’s ‘Mystery of Capital’ (2000). The case of the oil palm industry in PNG demonstrates that customary land registration processes may be captured by powerful ‘big men’ and companies within an environment of weak and changing governance. Weak or non-existent state capacity for the regulation and enforcement of the palm oil industry have been exploited by logging/oil palm companies, surpassing various government agencies at different levels. Instead of increasing agricultural activity and national income, the case shows that customary land formalization has led to worsening poverty and wealth inequality due to biased land lease agreements between customary landowners and developers, loss of tax revenues due to tax exemptions, and a lack of service provision such as roads, schools, and health centers.


Sustainable Land Use by Smallholder Rubber Farmers in Southwest China: Acceptance, Adoption and Governance of Environmental Programs

Hermann Waibel1, Shaoze Jin1, Shi Min2, Jikun Huang2

1University of Hannover, Germany; 2Peking University, China

This study deals with the implementation of sustainable land use systems in Southern China. The objective of the study is to assess the opportunities and constraints of introducing environmentally friendly rubber plantation (EFRP) among smallholder farmers in the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture (XSBN). We developed three models: (i) an OLS to identify the determinants of EFRP acceptance by smallholders; (ii) a panel model to analyze the changes in intercropping adoption between 2012 and 2014; (iii) an endogenous switching model to account for possible endogeneity of intercropping adoption. We find that the success of a program like EFRP in China is affected by economic conditions. Decline in rubber profitability and off-farm income opportunities pose major challenges. We conclude that without a well-designed implementation plan, i.e. a targeted extension program, and appropriate and attractive incentive schemes a program like EFRP is unlikely to achieve its expected its goals.


Farm production efficiency and natural forest extraction: Evidence from Cambodia

Trung Thanh Nguyen1, Do Truong Lam1, Priyanka Parvathi1, Ada Wossink2, Ulrike Grote1

1Leibniz University Hannover, Germany; 2Manchester University, United Kingdom

Farm production and natural forest extraction remain principal livelihood strategies of local

people in many rural areas of the developing world. In this paper, we apply stochastic frontier analysis to evaluate farm production efficiency and simultaneous equations modelling to estimate the interrelationship between farm production efficiency and natural forest extraction. We use a two year panel data set of 430 rural households in Stung Treng province of Cambodia. We find that natural forest extraction is decreasing in farm production efficiency. Our results suggest that improving farm production efficiency, via the promotion of rural education and privatization of farm land, should be considered an integral component of natural forest conservation policy.