LANDac 2022 Annual Conference


The LANDac Annual International Conference offers a podium for knowledge exchange between researchers, practitioners and private sector representatives working on land governance for equitable and sustainable development. Anticipating that restrictions for travel and large-scale events will still be in place, the LANDac Annual International Conference 2022 will be held in a hybrid format.

This year’s conference ‘Governing land for the future - what (r)evolutions do we need?’ focuses on the future of land governance.

More than a decade into the ‘land grab’ debate it is time to ask ourselves some tough questions: What have our efforts to regulate land-based investments brought us? Where did we manage to make land governance work for equity and sustainability and where did we fail? From the outset some of us were more optimistic and others more pessimistic about the possibility to ensure fair outcomes. Today, however, most would agree that whatever successes have been achieved, these have not been able to change the overall pattern of dispossession, inequality and resource depletion. Have land governance interventions just been scratching the surface?

The 13th LANDac Annual Conference will offer the opportunity to discuss what it takes to address today’s and tomorrow’s land issues. Do we need further evolution of current approaches, or rather a revolution in land governance thinking? This is an urgent question. While the early wave of mega land deals seems to have waned, on the ground alienation and dispossession continue unabated, if in more diverse and stealthy ways. Pressures on land and other natural resources seem to be increasing, authoritarianism is omnipresent, and the violence against territorial defenders and human rights activists is increasingly worrying. As we review our efforts to address these issues the question arises: Should we tune the instruments at our disposal (“evolution”)? Or do we need a more radical re-think (“revolution”)?

Panels are invited for the 2022 Annual Conference to consider different land governance instruments, approaches, and trends. Panels should address the ways instruments and approaches engage with power differences and various forms of structural, cultural/discursive, and direct violence. Panels should also reflect on the way land governance has been conceptualised over the past decade and propose alternative frames. Panels that reflect on knowledge construction at the intersection of academia, private sector, and civil society are welcomed.

Against this background, the following thematic streams for panel proposals are suggested (not exclusive):

  • Ethics, due diligence, and responsible investment: What lessons can be drawn from a decade of attempts to regulate land-based investment? What track records do we find in different contexts, rural or urban, conflict- or disaster-affected? What is the scope for “responsible” investment in an unequal world?
  • Consultation, participation, and how to make it real: We have seen too many instances where consultation is a mere ritual and participation just instrumental. What is there to learn about places where things went right? What promises do emancipatory approaches hold?
  • Protecting the land rights of the poor: The past decade has seen an upsurge in land registration and formalisation projects (many of them using “pro-poor” approaches). What evidence do we have that these interventions provide the desired protection against encroachment and land grabbing (big or small)? What have we learnt about the challenges and risks involved? How do on the ground initiatives relate to (changes in) land laws?
  • Advocacy and shrinking civic space: Civil society organizations in defence of land rights and the environment are increasingly under pressure. Civic space in many countries is shrinking, authoritarian regimes undo earlier forms of protection, and violence (sometimes lethal) against activists continues to rise. Do we understand enough of how this works? Do we have any answers?
  • Climate justice: It is now evident that the climate agenda implies additional pressures on resources and space on a global scale. In view not only of climate change, but also of mitigation measures and the energy transition: How can we deal with climate change in a just way?

Hybrid conference format

As possibilities for travelling and coming together remain unclear for the coming year, the LANDac Annual International Conference 2022 will be held in a hybrid format, with the programme combining both online and on-site sessions. More information on the exact format will follow as soon as possible.

The programme of this conference will include a diversity of keynote speakers who will share their own message about the (r)evolutions in governing land for the future. Keep an eye on the LANDac website for updates.

Submitting a session

Submission for session proposals is open until 11th of February. Session proposals must be submitted in English via email to: Abstracts for papers will be invited after the session proposals have been reviewed. You can download the format for session proposals here.

LANDac will provide the infrastructure for both the online and offline sessions. Please indicate in your proposal if you prefer an online or offline session.

Registration and fees

Registration for the conference will open in Spring 2022 and close mid-June 2022. Fees will be differentiated for online and live participation and will be communicated shortly.

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