LANDac – the Netherlands Land Academy – is a partnership between Dutch organisations and their Southern partners working on land governance for equitable and sustainable development. LANDac was formed in 2010 as one of the IS Academies, a series of five-year programs designed by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs to strengthen the role of knowledge and research in sustainable development, poverty alleviation and international cooperation.
In 2016 LANDac entered its second phase: LANDac II was launched on 26 October 2016 and runs until mid-2022. During LANDac II, partners who share a concern for understanding and addressing new and existing types of land-related conflicts and increasing land inequality continue to work together to promote equitable and sustainable development in the Global South.
The LANDac network brings together actors, conducts research, and distributes information, focusing on new pressures and competing claims on land and natural resources. LANDac studies the impact of large-scale land deals in agriculture for food production and biofuels, urbanization, tourism, and the role of land laws, reforms, regulations, and voluntary guidelines and principles in dealing with new pressures.
In order to understand and address new and existing types of land-related conflicts, LANDac brings together stakeholders who might not otherwise meet – particularly academic researchers, private sector and civil society representatives, and policy makers in the field of land governance and development. Pressing themes that are addressed under LANDac II include the impact of large-scale land deals in agriculture for food production and biofuels, infrastructure development, women’s land rights, post-conflict and urban land governance challenges, and climate adaptation and migration. LANDac believes that a multi-stakeholder and participatory approach is the best way to ensure human well-being is at the centre of the land agenda.
The LANDac II partnership consists of the following organisations:
LANDac II is hosted by the Faculty of Geosciences, Department of Human Geography and Planning at Utrecht University.
Dr Gemma van der Haar (Wageningen University and Research, chair group Sociology of Development and Change)
Dr Guus van Westen (Utrecht University, chair group International Development)
Ezra Litjens works a Coordinator of LANDac since 2021. Her educational background consists of a BSc in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, and a MSc in International Development Studies. For the latter she has researched the cultural perspective on dispossession as a consequence of the hydropower dam built on the Nile close to Jinja, Uganda.
Chantal has been involved with LANDac since 2019 and recently started working as a researcher of LANDac. She has been involved in several research projects, including a research project on sustainable mobility in Hong Kong and Shanghai for the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, and 2,5-months ethnographic field research in Sumatra, Indonesia on nature conservation.
Image top of page: November 2017. María Marimadias Flores processes Ramón seeds at Alimentos Naturinaturales where the traditional Mayan food is made into various products. Ixlù, Guatemala. Photograph by Jason Houston for USAID. No changes made.