Princetonlaan 8a, 3584 CB, Utrecht +31 30 253 13 63

LANDac Conference 2017



LANDac’s Annual International Conference 2017 “Leave no one behind: setting the land agenda to 2030”, took place on the 29th and 30t of June, 2017. This conference looked back over the decade since the land grab “hype” began, analysing the processes of transformations that have taken place in those locations where investments have been made and revisiting our understanding of the implications of these investment flows for food security, rural livelihoods and local development. It also looked forward in assessing new challenges in the field, such as land governance in the context of climate change and increasing urbanisation, and land in relation to the SDGs, using existing knowledge to set the land agenda to 2030 and ensure no one is left behind.

This conference took the all-encompassing SDGs as a starting point to explore how land governance can contribute to meeting these targets, and ultimately help to end poverty in all its forms everywhere (Goal 1). Providing people with secure and equal access to land is fundamental in realising this objective, and in reaching many other targets outlined SDGs.

Topics included land governance in relation to food security, infrastructure development, displacement, migration and mobility, compensation and resettlement, cities and urban expansion, conflict and competing claims, natural resources and environmental protection, gender and generation, land administration and new technologies, climate change and resilience.

Key Note Speakers

Key notes included:

Prof. dr. Eric Sheppard – UCLA
Prof. dr. Helga Leitner – UCLA
Duncan Pruett – Oxfam in Myanmar
Esther Mwaura – GROOTS Kenya
Prof. dr. Bert van der Zwaan – Rector Magnificus, Utrecht University

And there were additional contributions from, among others:

Danielle Hirsch – Both ENDS
Eric Smaling – Dutch MP
Future Deltas – Utrecht University
Wytske Chamberlain – University of Pretoria
An Ansoms – UCLouvain
LEGEND Programme – UK DFID

The 2017 Conference report is available here:


You can access PDF versions of the below presentations/session materials by clicking on the name of the presenter(s). Sessions are organised according to the time they took place (consult the programme to check). If your presentation is missing and you would like it to be included, please send it to

Thursday 29 June

Eric Sheppard and Helga Leitner – key note

1130 – 1300 Parallel I

Policy and pracitioners’ round table on the urban land agenda for 2030

Chair: Emiel Wegelin, URBACT and Utrecht University

Urban Policy and Practice Round Table – Concept Note

Land expropriation

Chair: Leon Verstappen, University of Groningen

Expropriation for (radical) economic transformation:  political viewpoints & alternatives

Hanri Mostert, South African Research Chair in Mineral Law at the University of Cape Town

Expropriation from a comparative perspective: the results of an ongoing study on expropriation in 50 countries

Nicholas Tagliarino, University of Groningen

The Role of the Courts in Reviewing the Justification of an Expropriation 

Bjorn Hoops, University of Groningen

Responsible business

Chair: Gerald Baltissen, KIT

How to deal with subsidence in deltas?

Chairs: Annelies Zoomers, LANDac and Utrecht University; Sanneke van Asselen, Future Deltas and Utrecht University

Going down in fragmentation: Fragmented legal responsibilities and regulations to deal with land subsidence in China and The Netherlands

Marleen Van Rijswick, Utrecht University

Land subsidence in deltas: Causes and impacts
Esther Stouthamer, Future Deltas and Utrecht University

Water management solutions for land subsidence,
consequences for land use and costs

Simon Troost, Aveco de Bon

Dealing with subsidence in deltas 

Gilles Erkens, Utrecht University

Living in the bottomless pit: The land user’s perspective on land subsidence in Indonesia

Erlis Saputra, Utrecht University

Land use planning for sustainable development

Chair: Thomas Hartmann, Utrecht University

Enhanced Land Use Planning in the Philippines – Paving the way towards achieving the SDGs?

Lena-Hohfeld, Gerald Leppert, and Malte Lech, DEval German Institute for Development Evaluation, Germany

Missing the exit – Can binding land-use plans meet changing land use needs?

Jutta Hesse, Thomas Hartmann and Tejo Spit, Utrecht University, Netherlands

Scaling up women’s land rights in Africa: Steering Committee Panel

Chair: Michelle Nuijen, LANDac

1400 – 1530 Parallel II

Urban and peri-urban land governance

Chair: Anna Walnyicki, IIED

Tribal-Global impasse and an image of the contemporary Global city Mumbai

Devshree Thankar, Leiden University

Increasing access to land for shelter

Gyorgy Sumeghy and Maria Luisa Zanelli, Habitat International

Land for private sector social housing projects in Zumpango and Tecamac: An exploration of the peri-urban land market of Mexico City

Wieke-Smit, Utrecht University

Life in Yangon’s peri-urban informal settlements – a case study of Hlaing Tharyar Industrial Zone

Rebecca Groot, Utrecht University

Land, displacement and mobility

Chair: Griet Steel, LANDac and Utrecht University

Land relations and migration in the Red River Delta region of Vietnam

Nguyen Thi Dien, Vietnam National University of Agriculture, Vietnam and Philippe Lebailly, Liege University, Belgium

The Life We Lived: A Research on Land Confiscation and Livelihood Strategies of Farmers in the Ayeyarwady Region, Myanmar

Laurien Petri, Utrecht University

Land expropriation, forced eviction and forced resistance in Taiwan

Shih-Jung Hsu and Li-Min Liao, National Chengchi University Taipei Taiwan

Land and Responsible Agricultural Investment: lessons and practical governance implications

Chair: Frits van der Wal, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs

LEGEND State of the Debate Report 2017: Promoting more inclusive Business in the context of the land governance agenda

Laura German, University of Georgia

Legal Empowerment in agribusiness investments: harnessing political economy analysis

Philippine Sutz, International Institute for Environment and Development

The scope for learning and innovation based on current responsible land investment and inclusive agri-business pilots: the LEGEND Challenge Fund learning framework

Julian Quan, NRI University of Greenwich and LEGEND team leader

What can recent portfolio overviews tell us about donor investments in land and agricultural investment and opportunities to improve coherence and impact?

Giles Henley, Overseas Development Institute

Land governance and environmental justice in the context of climate change

Chair: Mucahid Bayrak, Utrecht University

Green grabbing and the commodification of nature: Insights on the ‘ground’

Mucahid Bayrak, Utrecht University

More Recognition More Value – The ASALs of today

Ken Otieno, Global Rangelands Initiative Program

The growth in Climate-Smart Agriculture: Implications for the 2030 land agenda

Dhanush Dinesh, CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security

Local livelihoods and customary land governance

Chair: Jur Schuurman, LANDac

The recognition of customary land rights: lessons from the Province of Bie in Angola

Marco Orani, World Vision

Inclusive development of tenure security and economic growth for Namibia’s communal areas

Rosa Kashululu and Wino Mwilima, Namibia Ministry of Land Reform

Impacts of Large Scale Foreign Land Acquisitions on Rural Households: Evidence from Ethiopia

Giulia Barbanente, Erasmus University and Emma Aisbett, Hamburg University

Chiefs, Farmers, Businessmen and Officials: On-the-ground Processes of Land Privatization in Burkina Faso

Elizabeth Gardiner, The Ohio State University


Chair: Caroline Archambault, University of Leiden

Empowered rural women as key drivers of sustainable development goals in the Colombian post-conflict times

Natalia Cediel Becerra and Luis Carlos  Villamil-Jimenez, Universidad de la Salle  Bogotá

1600 – 1730 Parallel II

Infrastructure and formalization

Chair: Kei Otsuki, Utrecht University

Infrastructure development in Beira, Mozambique

Murtah Read, LANDac and Utrecht University

Large infrastructure development in Yogyakarta Province, Indonesia: Marginalizing or promoting the locals?

Rijanta, Universitas Gadjah Mada Indonesia

Actors, Power Structures and Capital: Territorial Configuration in the Upper Río Negro Valley, North Patagonia, Argentina

Rocío Herrera and Andreas Ch. Braun, The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Large-Scale Land Acquisitions and extractive industries: assessing challenges towards the SDGs

Sara Balestri, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Land administration

Chair: Jaap Zevenbergen, University of Twente

Ukraine’s reform approaches to fight corruption and increase transparency in the sector of land administration

Cristoph Konrad Gilgen, BVVG German AgriForest Privatization Agency 

Detection and monitoring of agricultural land conversion using Copernicus Sentinels 1 and 2

Guido Lemoine, European Commission

Blockchain-based digital land administration in Ghana

Vincent Oberdorf, Utrecht University

Building an intra-organizational and fit for purpose land rights policy: Comparison of successes, lessons learned and best practices across two projects

David Betge, Christin Weigt and Hendrik Westerbeek, ZOA

LANDac Learning platforms

Chair: Gemma Betsema, LANDac and Shared Value Foundation

Findings from the Kilombero Valley

Emilinah Namaganda, Shared Value Foundation

Round table discussion: The impact of Liquid Natural Gas investments in Northern Mozambique – thinking ahead

Chairs: Griet Steel, LANDac and Utrecht University; Karin van Boxtel, Both ENDS

Legal frameworks and land reform

Chair: Jean duPlessis, GLTN

Land acquisition by foreigners in Brazil: legal framework changes and recent tendencies

Bastiaan Reydon, UNICAMP, Brazil

Addressing the risks of weak laws to stem forest land conversion

Caroline Haywood, ClientEarth

Integrating Rural Development Planning and Land Reform in South Africa: Challenges, Opportunities and Prospects

Mark Oranje and Jeannie van Wyk, University of Pretoria

China’s mining conflicts and institutional credibility: An analysis of legal disputes

Xiuyun Yang and Peter Ho, Delft University of Technology

Monitoring and measurement

Chair: Everlyne Nairesiae, UN Habitat

Making global scale monitoring of land governance a reality

Laura Meggiolaro, Land Portal

Developing methodologies to monitor the land indicator

Thea Hilhorst, World Bank

Preliminary outcomes of online discussion: How do we measure perceptions on land tenure security?

Everlyne Nairesiae, UN Habitat

Land rights and access to land survey in Timor-Leste – a tool for evidence-based policy and advocacy

Bernardo Almeida, Van Vollenhoven Institute, Leiden University


Friday 30 June

1100 – 1230 Parallel IV

Land governance to end poverty

Chair: Duncan Pruett, Oxfam

Strategic urban planning in Khartoum: Ways forward to sustainable and pro-poor urban development in Sudan

Amir Mirgani Abdelrahim and Salah Abukashawa, Ministry of Strategic Planning and Information, Khartoum State; Mohammed Nassur, Ministry of Physical Planning, Khartoum State

Land reform for achieving SDGs in Benin

Xavier Zola, National Agency of Land Benin

The political economy of large-scale land deals and the human right to adequate food in Tanzania

Atenchong Talleh Nkobou and Marcello De Maria, University of Reading

Land, inequality and power in Latin America

Stephanie Burgos, Oxfam

Involving the local government sector in land projects, a case study from Benin

Claire Decre, VNG International

Informing policy on spatial impacts of peri-urbanization

Panel chair: Monica Lengoiboni, University of Twente

Global urbanization patterns from JRC’s urban atlas

Richard Sliuzas, University of Twente and Thomas Kemper, JRC

Using remote sensing to map/model urban expansion and population growth in sub-Saharan Africa

Eleonore Wolff, Université Libre De Bruxelles

Urbanization and agriculture: policy implications of urban growth

René van Veenhuizen, RUAF Foundation

Food security

Chairs: Guus van Westen, LANDac and  Utrecht University; Ellen Mangnus, Utrecht University

Follow the Food: Investment in agri-business and food security

Ellen Mangnus and James Wangu, Utrecht University

Improving food security in rural Java: Prospects and challenges of the local foods

Rijanta, University Gadjah Mada Indonesia

Assessing Relationships Among Land Security, Food Security and Land Privatization in Burkina Faso, West Africa

Elizabeth Gardiner, The Ohio State University

The impacts of climate change on food security: The case of maize in Chókwè District

Mariam Abbas, Observatorio do Meio Rural (OMR)

The Landscape Approach

Chair: Lucy Oates, LANDac

The need for locally embedded entry points for implementing integrated landscape approaches

Mirjam Ros-Tonen, University of Amsterdam

Landscapes and the Dutch government role

Omer van Renterghem, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The landscape approach, role of civil society

Sjoerd Panhuysen, HIVOS

Landscape governance as a framework for policy integration – illustrations from Rwanda

Cora van Oosten, Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen University and Research

Land implications for governing waste for sustainable and inclusive development

Chairs: Kei Otsuki and Femke van Noorloos, Utrecht University

Community Participation in Solid Waste Management in Aruba

Ben Bultrini, Utrecht University

Grassroots initiatives for plastic recycling and the socio-spatial dynamics of power relations

Chiao-Jou Lin, Utrecht University

Plastic beaches and mountains of waste: An analysis of Bali’s waste management system through and ISWM framework that focuses on the stakeholder, their activities and the enabling aspects

Bram Broeder & Erwin Noz, Utrecht University

Everyday forms of land grabbing by local elites: power and resistance

Chairs: An Ansoms and Aymar Nyenyezi Bisoka, Université Catholique de Louvain

Action theatre to study resistance to land grabbing : ethical and epistemological concerns

An Ansoms and Aymar Nyenyezi Bisoka, Université Catholique de Louvain

1330 – 1500 Parallel V

Sustainable actions pave the way for a land governance agenda

Chairs: Karin van Boxtel and Nathalie van Haren, Both ENDS

New technology

Chair: Christine Richter, University of Twente

Monitoring Urban Expansion on Agricultural Lands in Egypt between 1986 and 2006: Asyut Governorate SMSSs as a Case Study

Mahmood Abdelkader, University of Twente

Addressing land rights challenges using high-resolution geospatial data and blockchain technology

Kartik Kumar, SpatialTrust


Mila Koeva, University of Twente

New partnerships for the SDGs

Chair: Monica Lengoiboni, University of Twente

Participatory land-use planning and community maps in Indonesia: crowdsourcing essential tools for sustainable forest-land governance

Michael Rice, Both ENDS

Co-production of knowledge on water and land issues for socio-ecological decision-making: agro-urban challenges in Rafsanjani, Iran

Sara Mehryar, University of Twente

Participatory cartography

Anouk Lodder, VNG International

Researching large-scale land acquisitions through the ‘Zones of Intermediality’ Approach

Sandra Evers and Josh Maiyo, VU University Amsterdam

The missing link? A Review of land tenure registration in Burundi

David Betge, Jean Pierre Irutingabo, Christin Weigt and Hendrik Westerbeek, ZOA

Life on land: Land governance for environmental sustainability

Chair: Mirjam Ros-Tonen, University of Amsterdam

Legalizing the illegal: practices and mechanisms behind land and green grabbing in the Brazilian Amazon

Sheila Da Silva Sens, Utrecht University

Expansion of palm oil in Western and Central Africa

Barbara Kuepper, Profundo

Looking back: what transformations have taken place since the hype began?

Chair: Oane Visser, ISS The Hague

Farmland investment, climate risk and soil

Oane Visser, ISS The Hague

Foreign land acquisition mechanisms: a comparison

Angela Harding, Wytske Chamberlain and Ward Anseeuw, University of Pretoria and International Land Coalition

Land grabbing: trends and developments according to Land Matrix data

Wytske Chamberlain, Kerstin Nolte and Markus Giger, University of Pretoria

Competing claims and the emerging nexus of conflict, private sector, and land governance

Chair: Barbara Codispoti, Oxfam Novib

1530 – 1700 Closing plenary

Plenary room

Effective, accountable and inclusive institutions in land governance: How far did we get?

Chairs: Gemma van der Haar and Mathijs van Leeuwen, Radboud University Nijmegen