Large-scale acquisition of land in the global South has received a great deal of interest in the last few years. Especially following the food crisis (2003-08), and stimulated by the growing demand for biofuels, pressure on land continues to increase. This course provides a multidisciplinary analysis of the ‘land rush’ within the more general context of land governance in Africa, Asia, and Latin America: the history and drivers, the diversity of stakeholders and networks involved, the urgency and current challenges, and innovative governance solutions.
The large-scale acquisition of land in the global South – often referred to as land grabbing – has received much attention from academics, policy-makers, and media in the last years. Especially following the food crisis (2003-08), and stimulated by the growing demand for bio-energy, pressure on land in developing countries has increased quickly. Besides the demand for agricultural land, current land acquisitions are also related to tourism development, the rush for minerals and oil, industrial development, urbanization and nature conservation. Local populations often seem defenseless in this ‘rush for land’ and governments lack capacity to address the challenges. As a result, access to and use of natural resources, particularly in the developing world, is being transformed irreversibly.
Land governance in developing countries has to deal with the multiple pressures and competing claims in balancing economic growth, environmental protection and social justice. This course provides a multidisciplinary analysis of the ‘land rush’ within the more general context of land governance in Africa, Asia and Latin America: the history and drivers of the processes, the diversity of stakeholders and networks involved, the urgency and current challenges, and innovative governance solutions.
The course is organized by the Netherlands Academy for Land Governance (LANDac), a network of organizations interested in how land governance may contribute to sustainable and inclusive development. MSc students, PhD students and professionals from development organizations and related projects will acquire up-to-date knowledge on new land pressures and learn how to place these in broader theoretical contexts and policy debates. Participants learn about best practices in land governance from different perspectives and on multiple levels, from local to international. Topics are discussed in interactive mini-courses, lectures and solution-oriented workshops. The design of the course allows for participants to closely work together with professionals, experts and fellow students from a variety of backgrounds.
The tutorials in the two-week course provide a general overview of important themes such as the global land rush, land governance, land administration and land issues in post-conflict situations. This overview is complemented by a mix of case studies that illustrate issues and trends in specific contexts, cases highlighted in previous LANDac summer schools include (trans)national land investments in Indonesia and the Philippines, government-led land acquisition and resettlement policies in India, and World Bank policies on land. The course also investigates the trend of foreigners buying real estate for residential tourism in Costa Rica, land governance solutions in countries with weak institutions such as Burkina Faso, challenges for participatory land governance in Mozambique, and coping with urban pressures on agricultural land in Vietnam. Topics are discussed from a range of perspectives, blending insights from Dutch and international academics with those of development practitioners, representatives of farmers’ organizations and government policy advisors.
Visit the Utrecht University Summer School website for more information and to register, or contact us at email@example.com if you have any questions.