Commercial Pressure on Land

Land & Investments

Investments in agricultural land may be essential for achieving food security and promoting economic growth, but what are the potential costs and benefits for local landholders and the environment?

 

Investing in land, and in activities requiring land, occurs around the world. As a broad category, “land and investments” encompasses a wide range of scenarios: investments may be small or large in terms of the amount of money invested and scale of the land acquired. Investments may be undertaken for activities ranging from agriculture or forestry to infrastructure, extractive projects, renewable energy, or even tourism; and may involve a variety of actors, such as local smallholders, national governments, local investors, or foreign corporations, among others.

Given the breadth of what falls within investment in land and land-related activities, the concept of land investments is not inherently controversial. For example, the most significant source of agricultural investments tied to land in low- and middle-income countries comes from farmers themselves—not only by land investments, such as acquiring new land, but also by investments in agriculture, including in crops, improvements to the land they already hold, and new equipment or structures to make their land and activities more productive [1]. Such investments are indisputably important.  Yet the types, forms, and scale of investment deemed appropriate remain highly polarizing in many contexts, especially with respect to agricultural activities and land investments more generally. Large- and medium-scale land investments that require a transfer in rights to use land raise particularly difficult concerns, given their potential to negatively affect existing land users and local communities—leading in some cases to charges of “land grabbing.”

Strong land governance systems and secure land tenure (i.e. the certainty that landholders’ rights to the land will be recognized, protected, and enforceable if challenged by others) can support land users’ sustainable investments in land and agriculture, as well as their ability to make decisions regarding whether to retain or transfer their land rights in the context of incoming investors who seek to use their land. Weak or conflicting land governance systems and insecure tenure, on the other hand, may lead to less sustainable land use, or may create a greater likelihood that legitimate land rights are violated as other land investors move in. While various guidelines and principles explicitly address responsible investment in land and in agriculture, there are still challenges associated with ensuring that land investments respect land rights and human rights, are sensitive to gender and environmentally sustainable, and result in expected benefits rather than conflict. Governments and investors may find that such issues are even more difficult when they constitute “legacy issues” that must be addressed after investments have occurred or operations have been ongoing [2]. And although transparency around large land-based investments is slowly increasing, information regarding such investments often remains inaccessible to those affected and the general public, limiting understanding of their implications and impeding accountability.

 

Disclaimer: The data displayed on the Land Portal is provided by third parts indicated as the data source or as the data provider. The Land Portal team is constantly working to ensure the highest possible standard of data quality and accuracy, yet the data is by its nature approximate and will contain some inaccuracies. The data may contain errors introduced by the data provider(s) and/or by the Land Portal team. In addition, this page allows you to compare data from different sources, but not all indicators are necessarily statistically comparable. The Land Portal Foundation (A) expressly disclaims the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any data and (B) shall not be liable for any errors, omissions or other defects in, delays or interruptions in such data, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Neither the Land Portal Foundation nor any of its data providers will be liable for any damages relating to your use of the data provided herein.

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    Media

    Latest News

    22 May 2017

    In countries like Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar, tens of thousands face eviction with few tools to fight back

    Residents of a village in Hanoi's outskirts took 38 officials and policemen hostage recently in protest against what they claimed was the illegal seizure of their land by a telecommunications firm owned by the military.

    The stand-off riveted the nation, and also highlighted the persistence of land disputes in a region where rapid development is pitting large commercial interests against longstanding communities.

    10 May 2017

     

    MONROVIA – When Liberia signed a series of contracts with international palm oil producers in the years after its protracted civil war, the news was greeted by some as a welcome sign of national renewal. Despite criticism voiced by local and international advocacy groups that the massive deals amounted to “land grabs,” the prospect of tens of thousands of jobs, tax revenues for a cash-starved government, and repaired roads and ports was too much for Liberian officials to pass on.

    5 May 2017

    KOIDU, Sierra Leone, May 5 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A dispute over a bridge in eastern Sierra Leone thought to span diamond deposits has divided a local community with a foreign mining company accused of illegally mining the area after volunteering to rebuild the overpass.

    The Congo Bridge in Koidu, the capital of Kono District, was deemed by local authorities to be in danger of collapsing after years of illegal small-scale mining around the base.

    Latest Blogs

    Photo CC Steve McCurry

    I wouldn’t say Chinese investors are not trying to take social responsibility seriously, but they must understand that the meaning of responsible investment is much more than a few corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs.

    By Roy Prosterman

    Asia’s Tigers, the collection of booming economies that emerged in the East following World War II, are often hailed as economic miracles. There was, though, no “secret sauce” behind that sustained and broad-based economic growth. Rather, as Myanmar is poised to show, the key ingredient for a Tiger economy can be found right beneath our feet.

    Latest Events

    23 August 2017 to 25 August 2017

    Location

    Curitiba, Brasil Curitiba
    Brazil
    BR

    Nos dias 23,24 e 25 de agosto do presente ano, levar-se-á a cabo o TERCEIRO CONGRESSO IBEROAMERICANO DE SOLO URBANO na cidade de Curitiba, Brasil, com o tema “O solo na nova agenda urbana”, organizado de maneira conjunta pelo Colégio Mexiquence AC, a Universidade Federal do Paraná, a Universidade Pontifícia Católica do Paraná e a Universidade Positivo.

    10 August 2017 to 11 August 2017

    Location

    Julius Nyerere Convention Centre Dar es Salaam
    Tanzania
    TZ

    The Institution of Surveyors of Tanzania (IST), The Tanzanian Institution of Valuers & Estate Surveyors (TIVEA)

    in collaboration with The Commonwealth Association of Surveying & Land Economy (CASLE)

    invite you to:- ‘An International Conference’

    12 July 2017 to 21 July 2017

    Location

    Columbia University
    435 West 116th Street
    10027 New York , New York
    United States
    New York US

    The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) is pleased to announce that applications are open for our Executive Training on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture, which will be held at Columbia University from July 12-21, 2017. This interdisciplinary, executive-level training course is designed primarily for public sector officials and civil society representatives from low- and middle-income countries, whose responsibilities relate to investments, agriculture, land, or rural development.

    7 June 2017 to 9 June 2017

    Location

    Universidade Estadual de Campinas
    Cidade Universitária Zeferino Vaz - Barão Geraldo, Campinas - SP, Brasil
    13083-970 São Paulo
    Brazil
    BR

    O tema para 2017 será a Regularização Fundiária



    O Grupo de Trabalho em Governança de Terras tem a honra de apresentar a III edição do seminário que esse ano o tema principal será Regularização Fundiária. A data programada para o evento é: 07, 08 e 09 de junho de 2017.

    Para ver a programação e mais informações clique aqui.

    Debates

    Coming soon
    5 June 2017 to 16 June 2017
    Facilitators
    massay
    Lukasz Czerwinski

    From June 5-16, 2017, Landesa and the Land Portal will co-facilitate a dialogue through which a variety of stakeholders will contribute to discussion on the principles and practices of land-based investments, with a focus on the Tanzanian context. This is intended as part of the broader conversation on responsible investment in land principles, guidelines and practices that has proliferated since, at least, the 2009 food crisis and subsequent ‘land grabs’ that swept the global south

    Closed
    23 January 2017 to 24 February 2017
    Facilitators
    Raquel Ludermir Bernardino
    Maria Luisa Alvarado

    In Latin American and the Caribbean region (LAC), millions of families lack access to land for shelter or live in insecure tenure under a constant threat of being evicted from their homes. Land conflicts and forced evictions are increasingly reported and a key issue in the advocacy agenda of civil society and grassroots organizations.

    Closed
    28 November 2016 to 23 December 2016
    Facilitators
    Bjoern.Hoops
    Nicholas Tagliarino
    Marcello Demaria

    Land tenure changes are on the rise throughout the world as a result of increased migration from rural to urban areas, expansion of infrastructure, commercial pressures on agricultural land, extractive activities, and climate change. Shifts in land tenure arrangements are proceeding through compulsory acquisitions (i.e. expropriations) and voluntary market transactions, such large-scale land leases and concessions.

    Partners

    Library

    Displaying 1 - 6 of 1096
    Cover photo
    Reports & Research
    October 2017

    This study assessed the contribution of Geita Gold Mine (GGM) to the livelihoods of local communities in Geita District. Specifically, it assessed the effectiveness of corporate social responsibility implementation, determined the extent to which GGM has contributed to socio-economic development in the study area, and examined the communities’ perceptions of environmental problems associated with mining activities and their impact on community well-being. A cross-sectional research design was employed, in which qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection were used.

    Manuals & Guidelines
    May 2017

    Esta publicação busca trazer a todos os Municípios brasileiros orientações sobre como incorporar a nova agenda de desenvolvimento, a Agenda de Desenvolvimento Sustentável (Agenda 2030) no planejamento e na gestão municipal. Trata-se de uma agenda global para o desenvolvimento humano e sustentável à qual o Brasil, junto com outros 192 países, aderiu em setembro de 2015, e que deve ser implantada até 2030.

    In the Valley of the Shadow of Death? cover image
    Reports & Research
    May 2017

    London Mining Network is an alliance of human rights, development, environmental and solidarity groups working in support of communities around the world who are badly affected by mining companies based in, or financed from, London.

    One such company is Antofagasta plc, one of the larger mining companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. The majority of its operations are in Chile. The most significant shareholders in Antofagasta are members of the Luksic family, a wealthy Chilean family which is also involved in a number of other businesses.

    Journal Articles & Books
    May 2017

    This paper uses the case of South Africa’s latest land redistribution strategy known as the Proactive Land Acquisition Strategy, to explore whether, and how, research can have direct and positive impacts on beneficiaries of land reform. The study is situated within the practice of action research: to explore how it can generate knowledge that can be shared back and forth between stakeholders, as well as how it may ignite changes that the participants desire. The findings are that Proactive Land Acquisition Strategy is not meeting the overall goals land reform.

    Legislation & Policies
    May 2017

    A Lei n.º 62/2012, de 10 de dezembro, criou a bolsa nacional de terras para utilização agrícola, florestal ou silvopastoril, nos termos da qual a Direção -Geral de Agricultura e Desenvolvimento Rural (DGADR) exerce as funções de entidade gestora da referida bolsa. A Resolução do Conselho de Ministros n.º 24/2014, de 20 de março criou o grupo de acompanhamento da bolsa de terras, integrado, nomeadamente, por representantes das direções regionais de agricultura e pescas e das GeOp.