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Land Observatory

The Land Observatory is a sister project to the Land Matrix that will make information on large-scale land acquisition transparent and accessible through an interactive, map-based platform. We are piloting this project in five countries, with partners and governments who will work to open government data, crowdsource and help customize local observatories. Updated information on land will benefit citizens, but also governments and companies interested in sustainability.


July 30, 2013

The land rush in Sierra Leone has been fast and intense. Since 2009 Sierra Leone is promoting large scale foreign investment in agriculture mainly for oil palm, sugar cane, rice and rubber. According to governmental sources the policy is quite successful with new investors rushing weekly into ministries.

A recent report estimated that “...


June 19, 2013

We’re working hard to finalize a user-friendly interface for the Land Observatory software, which users in at least five countries are eagerly awaiting.

Our anticipated release date for this will now be by mid-July, and we’ll be contacting users to help us test it and get your feedback.

In the meantime, imagine being able to map land deals here:



April 22, 2013

The Land Observatory will present its demo to hundreds of organisations and individuals working on land governance this week. Members of the International Land Coalition are meeting in Antigua, Guatemala for its bi-annual Global Land Forum, and will be able to demo The Land Observatory, alongside the Land Matrix, at the Marketplace of Ideas on Thursday, April 25.

Also, in the panel “Transparency,...


April 9, 2013

The Land Observatory is attending the World Bank’s annual Land and Poverty Conference, which began today in Washington DC. This year’s theme is very relevant to the Land Observatory: “Moving towards transparent land governance: Evidence-based next steps”....


January 28, 2013

The Land Observatory will make publicly available a first version of the tool for the beginning of February.

After intensive development work, the developers behind the Land Observatory have scheduled the first release of a stable basic version of the tool. This version will not yet have all the capabilities as they were defined in...


The International Land Coalition (ILC) believes that a fair and effective monitoring of ongoing conversion and fragmentation of rangeland ecosystems is needed in order to provide a thorough understanding of the trends and their implications – and also to enhance informed and participatory decision making on land use and investments in rangelands, and on the trade-offs involved. To this aim, a Rangelands...


December 1, 2012

Of the five pilot countries of the Land Observatory, two are members of the growing, global Open Government Partnership (OGP): Peru and Tanzania. The OGP sets targets for...


November 22, 2012

We spent this week with Peruvian partners in co-development and training sessions, hosted by CEPES. This is a data-rich and data-diverse environment, where partners prefer to refer to “land transactions” than “land deals”. Often land titles are traded between Peruvian investors, and this is something they would like to be able to track, in addition to concessions and...


November 12, 2012

Please find below the Land Observatory leaflet in English, French and Spanish for sharing with partners and interested individuals and groups.

S’il vous plaît trouver ci-dessous la brochure Observatoire du Foncier en anglais, français et espagnol pour les partager avec les partenaires et les 

Abajo encontrará el folleto Observatorio de la Tierra en Inglés, francés y español para compartir con los contrapartes y las personas y...


October 5, 2012

Our second co-development workshop took place in Cambodia, during the week of September 24-28. Thanks to host organization Star Kampuchea and participants from NGO Forum, Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and Open...


September 20, 2012

The development team along with other Land Observatory key members have been in Laos for the past couple of days, conducting our first, intensive co-development workshop with Lao government partners and civil society partners Land Issues Working Group.

We had a steep learning curve as we presented a demo version of the Observatory to our intended users for the first time. Our main goals here were getting a more...


August 24, 2012

What is “open development”? It is the idea that openness, transparency and access to knowledge are good for economic development. The Open Knowledge Foundation has a community of technologists, development workers and even donors and government interested in promoting greater access to information about development – active in the promotion of the idea of “open development”.

They have a blog and...


August 7, 2012

The Land Observatory is a project involving those who will contribute, verify and update information on land deals to a web-based platform, and involving those who will explore this information and analyze it. There is no use in developers blindly building a platform without fully understanding the needs and desires of both of those sets of potential users.

So we would like to bring the user community into the development of the platform as soon as...


August 1, 2012

In recent months, 192 people in five countries have participated in workshops sponsored by Land Observatory, project of the International Land Coalition and the University of Bern’s Center for Development and Environment. In late June, the Land Observatory completed its fifth and final inception workshop in Peru.

In these workshops, civil society, governments and donors have shared their experiences collecting data on land concession, learned...

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