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Princetonlaan 8a, 3584 CB, Utrecht landac.geo@uu.nl +31 30 253 13 63

LANDac Conference 2018

LAND GOVERNANCE AND (IM)MOBILITY: 

Exploring the nexus between land acquisition, displacement and migration

The LANDac Annual International Conference 2018 “Land Governance and (Im)mobility took place on the 28th and 29th of June 2018. It offered a podium for researchers, practitioners and private sector represen-tatives interested in land governance for equitable and sustainable development.

LANDac’s Annual International Conference 2018 looked at land investments through the lens of mobility. What are implications of land based investments on the movements of people? And how have displacement and population movements contributed to new and contesting land claims?

The 2018 conference took this land-mobilities nexus as a starting point, focusing on the extent to which land acquisitions trigger the inflow or outflow of particular groups of people – and also yield other mobilities (capital, goods, ideas etc.) and land claims. Providing people with secure and equal access to land is fundamental in giving people the ‘right to remain’, but land acquisitions simultaneously contribute to evictions and displacements, and the resettlement of groups. Up to now, the discussion has focused on respecting land rights, informing the local inhabitants in advance, and, in the case of forced displacement, offering fair compensation.

Given the variety of mobilities, what are good ways forward in land governance? To what extent can land governance contribute to inclusive development – preventing eviction and displacement, while supporting vulnerable groups to settle in safe places and build secure and sustainable livelihoods? How can property regimes (and ideas of fixing people to the land) move along with these changes and be made more suitable? How do economic transformations – value chain integration, market liberalization or reregulation – affect the ability of rural people to make a living on their lands? What do we know about the stability of ´foreign´ investor communities – and what are the implications of their land investments for the mobility and immobility of local communities? And what is the role of migrants who themselves invest in land – and who are sometimes powerful actors in land-related negotiations that might disadvantage others? At the heart of the conference debate will be the Sustainable Development Goals – what is the role of land governance in the context of the ambition to “leave no one behind”?