Land Matrix at LANDac 2020

March 18th, 2020

The Land Matrix is pleased to invite you to submit an abstract for the innovative and interactive session we'll be conducting at the LANDac Annual International Conference, taking place on 2-3 July 2020 in the Netherlands. This year, the Conference will be exploring the challenges that climate change poses for land governance systems, processes, and actors, as well as the lessons that can be drawn from experiences with land governance to date. in our session, World Café on Large-Scale Land Acquisitions and Land-Use Change, we will be focusing on land use change induced by large-scale land transactions, providing insights about existing studies and gathering ideas about how to proceed both in terms of future research and in terms of shaping land governance and policy measures.

The session has been designed to not only facilitate discussion on the topic, but also to provide a platform for networking opportunities as well as for gathering innovative solutions – especially if we want to combine the views of researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and other stakeholders working on land governance issues.

Abstract submission guidelines:

Since we are not planning a regular session with presentations of results from each author of abstracts, the abstracts should be structured as follows:

  1. Statement of the problem (no more than five sentences)
  2. One to three open (research) questions to be discussed during the panel

The session is not limited to one author per abstract – more than one author and participant during the session is most welcome – and no prepared presentation is required from the abstract authors. Instead, different groups will be given time to present their output created during the session.

Background to the session:

Demand for agricultural land is continuously accelerating. A rising global population, changing consumption patterns, and agro-fuel subsidies are some of the drivers behind this trend. A shrinking natural resource base due to climate change and mismanagement further aggravates meeting long-term demand. In this process, an increase in international large-scale land transactions is observed.

The Land Matrix database has recorded 1,413 concluded deals on 29 million hectares in the Global South. The implications of the rush for land are far-reaching. They affect how rural societies and economies function, the environmental services on which rural and urban populations depend, and global biodiversity. Land use change can be induced by converting extensively managed cropland into intensively managed monocultures, or due to displacement of land use activities into forest areas. Further, altered management practices can lead to soil degradation which in turn leads to food crop displacement by smallholder farmers. By contrast, foreign direct investments can bring strict international sustainability standards into the country or involve technology transfer.

Nevertheless, a thorough scientific understanding of the impacts of large-scale land transactions on land use and land-cover dynamics and their implications for climate change and ecosystem services remains limited. Identifying best and worst practices of large-scale land investments would help to design policies and land governance structures which can target environmental sustainability.

Session description:

During the session, we will introduce the topic via a short presentation (10 min) from the Land Matrix Initiative, which will conclude with open questions based on the content of the abstract presentations. We will then use the Design Thinking technique, called World Café, to facilitate idea gathering and to conceptualise future research and policy action agendas.

For more information about the session, go to page 15 of the session overview brief or visit the Conference website.

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