Here you can find an overview of output produced by LANDac researchers and our network, including policy briefs, research reports, and a list of our academic publications in the field of land governance. Search the sub-menu to read more.
Migration, youth and land in West Africa: Challenges for inclusive development
Gerard Baltissen (KIT), Mayke Kaag (ASC Leiden), Anouk Lodder (VNGi) and Griet Steel (Utrecht University)
Negotiating and implementing large scale land deals in Sierra Leone: Improving transparency and consent
Caitlin Ryan (University of Groningen)
Urban expansion and compulsory land aquisition in Hue, Vietnam: Challenges and ways towards fair urbanization
Nguyen Quang Phuc (Hue University)
Mozambique: Land-based Investments, Inclusive Business and Food Security
Kei Otsuki (Utrecht University)
The Global Jatropha Hype: Lessons from the boom and bust of a miracle crop
Gemma Betsema (LANDac)
Governing large-scale farmland investments in sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges and ways forward
George C. Schoneveld (Utrecht University)
Tourism turning real estate: How to deal with residential tourism investment in the global South?
Femke van Noorloos (Utrecht University)
The WLRA (Women’s Land Rights Africa) working papers present the empirical findings and concrete outcomes of the programme in Kenya, Senegal, Malawi and Mozambique. The synthesis report Scaling up impacts from the grassroots in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Senegal describes the programme approach and methodology and gives a summary of the main conclusions of the programme.
The WLRA policy briefs present some concrete policy recommendations for scaling up women land rights and identifies Kenya, Senegal, Malawi, Mozambique and in Africa in general.
LANDac, together with the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), conducted studies on land governance for 15 partner countries of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. To inform the debate on effective land policies in these countries, we produced a reference note and fact sheets that continue to be a source of information for Netherland’s embassies as well as national governments, researchers, and development organisations.
The fact sheets, covering 15 Dutch partner countries, were initially composed in 2012, and describe legal and policy frameworks on land governance, including aspects of gender, foreign investments, brief ‘realities on the ground’ sections, as well as provide an overview of the main databases and related country information.
Factsheets updated 2015/2016:
Factsheets updated in 2012:
Four background papers for the EU report Development Confronting scarcity: Managing water, energy and land for inclusive and sustainable growth:
Other policy input
Selected output of short-term research projects (2010 – 2015)
22 short-term projects were carried out through LANDac, most of them in or on developments in Africa. The results were diverse; a selection is listed below.
Below some links to other research based in the Netherlands with relevance to the theme “Land Governance for Equitable and Sustainable Development”.
RECENT RESEARCH GRANTS / PROJECTS
Sliding from greasy land? Migration flows and forest transformation caused by oil palm expansion in Riau (Sumatra) & Berau (East Kalimantan)
Utrecht University and Gadjah Mada University Yogyakarta, in collaboration with Bogor Agricultural University and Mulawarman University Samarinda
Coordinator: Dr. Paul Burgers (International Development Studies, Utrecht University)
This project aims to unravel the complexity and dynamics that exist between three interdependent themes: (illegal) logging, migration processes and forest transformation processes. It will contribute to a better understanding of how current developments (the combined effect of expanding oil palm plantations and deforestation) will influence migration flows and livelihood systems of the local population. Special attention will be paid to how local governments can play a positive role in balancing the situation. It will result in concrete recommendations for how to integrate oil palm expansion in broader livelihood systems, while also playing a positive role in reducing deforestation and contributing to economic growth. These insights will feed into the set up of a decision support model for scenario development in a bio based economy environment, in which forest protection or rehabilitation becomes a profitable option under for instance the future REDD mechanism.
Breakthroughs in biofuels; Mobile Technology for Biodiesel Production from Indonesian Resources
University of Groningen and Bandung Institute of Technology, in collaboration with Wageningen University and Research Center, Gadjah Mada University Yogyakarta, Universiteit Twente, University of Palangkaraya
JARAK: The commoditization of an alternative biofuel crop in Indonesia
Leiden University and Gadjah Mada University Yogyakarta, in collaboration with University of Indonesia, Wageningen University and Research Center, Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies, Parahyangan University Bandung, Mulawarman University Samarinda, International Institute of Asian Studies Leiden, Bogor Agricultural University
In close collaboration with the KNAW/NWO programme Agriculture beyond Food (AbF), LANDac organized an international conference on Jatropha: the boom and bust of a miracle crop. A report of this 2-day conference can be found under the ‘Report’ section on this website.
Land grab and dwindling water resources: Reconciling competing claims and conflicts over natural resources in Africa’s dry lands, specifically Kenya.
Coordinator: Dr. M.M.E.M. Rutten
Consortium partners: Rutten (UL-ASC, NL); Odipo (Moi University, Kenya); Davies (IUCN/World Initiative for Sustainable Pastoralism (WISP), Kenya); Barmentlo (Cordaid, NL)
Small-scale gold mining and social conflict in the Amazon: Comparing states, environments, local populations and miners in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and Suriname (GOMIAM)
Coordinator: Dr. M.E.M. de Theije
Consortium partners: Theije (VU, NL); Emanuels (WWF-Guiana/Surinam, Guiana/Surinam); Mathis (Universidade Federal de Pará, Núcleo de Altos Estudos Amazonicos, Brasil); Schouten (Solidaridad, NL)
Nationalization of extractive industries, conflict and co-operation in Bolivia and Ecuador
Coordinator: Prof. dr. S.M. Murshed
Consortium partners: Murshed (ISS, NL); Gruenberger (Lidema, Ecuador); Mena (Universidad San Francisco de Quito /University of North Carolina, Ecuador/USA); van der Schoot (HIVOS, NL)
Assessing the socio-economic implications of industrial biofuel plantations: Repercussions of Jatropha curcas on rural land use alienation and conflict escalation in Ghana and Ethiopia
Coordinator: Mr. R.A.B. Antwi-Bediako
Consortium partners: Antwi-Bediako (Rural Environmental Care Association, Ghana); Teferi (HOAREC, Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia), Ethiopia); Timko (Univ. Of British Columbia, Canada); Acheampong (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana); Hoogland (Both Ends, NL)
Lands and Rights in Troubled Waters – Land-use change, environmental harm and human rights violations in Colombia and Brazil: the case of the Cauca and Tapajós basins
Coordinator: Dr. T. Boekhout van Solinge
Consortium partners: Boekhout van Solinge (UU, NL); Salcedo Fidalgo (Centro de Estudios Sociales (CES-UNC), Colombia); Vélez Galeano (CENSAT Agua Viva – Friends of the Earth Colombia); Monsalve Suárez (FIAN International (Foodfirst Information & Action Network, Germany); de Jesus Rego (Comissão Pastoral da Terra – CPT/Santarem, Brazil); Pacheco Peleja (Universidade Federal do Pará – UFPA, Brazil)
Re-incorporating the excluded: providing space for small-scale fishers in the sustainable development of fisheries of South Africa and South Asia
Coordinator: Dr. J.M. Bavinck
Consortium partners: Bavinck (UvA, NL); Sowman (University of Cape Town, South Africa); Jaffer (Masifundise Development Trust, South Africa); Amarasinghe (University of Ruhuna,, Sri Lanka); Kumara (University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka); Menon (Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS), India); Sosai (University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka); Van Drumpt (Cordaid, NL); Vivekanandan (South Indian Federation of Fishermen Societies (SIFFS), India); Coulthard (University of Ulster, UK); Van Sittert (University of Cape Town, South Africa); Kumara (National Fisheries Solidarity, Sri Lanka)
Groundwater in the Political Domain
Coordinator: Dr. F. van Steenbergen
Consortium partners: van Steenbergen (MetaMeta, NL); Mostert (TUD, NL); Woldearegay (Mekelle University, Ethiopia); Babaqi (Water and Environment Centre, Sana’a University, Yemen); Alemayehu (Oromia Water Works Design and Supervision Enterprise, Ethiopia); Bateh (Palestinian Water Authority, Palestine Territories)
GROUNDING LAND GOVERNANCE – Land conflicts, local governance and decentralization in post-conflict Uganda, Burundi and Southern Sudan
• Faculty of Development Studies, University of Science & Technology, Mbarara, Uganda
• African Studies Centre, Leiden, the Netherlands
• Centre for International Conflict Analysis and Management, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands
• Law and Governance Group, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
• Disaster Studies, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
• Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
• VNG International, the Netherlands
• Resource Based Conflicts Management Network, Nairobi, Kenya
• LOGO South – Millennium Development Goal Program, Kampala, Uganda
• Bureau de la Coopération suisse, Burundi
The following link will take you to a short video from the ‘Grounding Land Governance’ researchers about the programme: http://youtu.be/mkG_g3h_5Og
Farm Dwellers, the Forgotten People? Consequences of conversions to private Wildlife Producton in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape
Coordinator: Dr M.J. Spierenburg (VU University Amsterdam)
Co-applicant: Dr. S.J. Brooks (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
Development as a Trojan Horse? Foreign Large-scale Land Acquisitions in Ethiopia, Madagascar and Uganda
Coordinator: Dr. S.J.T.M. Evers (VU University, Amsterdam)
Co-applicant: Dr. K Berhanu (Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia)
Gulf-state concessions in Indonesia and the Philippines: Contested control of agricultural land and foodcrops
Coordinator: Dr. R.A. Rutten (University of Amsterdam)
Co-applicant: Dr. E.A. Purwanto MA (Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia)
SANPAD Research project:
A critical analysis of ‘land grabbing’ in selected areas in South Africa
In South Africa, as in many other countries of the Global South, a significant transformation of (rural) land is taking place, involving conversion to other uses and transfer of rights (ownership) to other users, including external investors. The study aims is to gain a deeper understanding of how the alternative use of land as opposed to agricultural use/production (contextualised as ‘land grabbing’ in the broadest sense) impact, positively and/or negatively on three separate but integrated aspects/sections: (1) land-use transformation (from rural to urban, and, a change in agricultural land use) (2) within a context of the current land reform and restitution policy framework, and (3) residential tourism, second home ownership, and identity and lifestyle transformation.
Partners in this project:
South Africa: University of Stellenbosch (Professor R. Donaldson, Prof. Ferreira, Dr. Van Niekerk, Mr. Poona, Ms. Z. Munch), University of Limpopo(Mr Kwaw), University of Pretoria (Dr Darkey), University of Free State( Prof. G. Visser)
Netherlands: Utrecht University (Prof. A. Zoomers, Dr. T. de Jong, Dr. Guus van Westen)
CEDLA (Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation), Amsterdam
Research line 1: Partnerships and conflicts in natural resource use
ITC University of Twente (Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation)
Land administration for informed governance (LA)
Social and Cultural Anthropology, VU University
Globalisation Studies Groningen, University of Groningen
Van Vollenhove Institute, Leiden University
Plant Production Systems Group, Wageningen UR
Competing claims on natural resources
Law and Governance Group, Wageningen UR
International Institute of Social Studies (ISS): Initiatives in Critical Agrarian Studies (ICAS)
Staff of institutions that participate in, or are collaborating with LANDac, elaborate short lectures or give interviews on the topics they focus on in their research or other professional activities. This collection of items has been started in the first months of 2017 and is continually expanding.
Scrolling down you will find the following thematic categories:
Where appropriate, references will be made to the database of good practices of the International Land Coalition (ILC).
Dr. Oane Visser is an associate professor at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague (the Netherlands). His interests focus on the role of social movements and civil society, particularly farmers’ organisations, in the debate on land governance. How can they succeed in being heard and involved in policy dialogue? Dr. Visser’s experience with the subject is based mainly, but not exclusively, on research in the countries of Eastern Europe that used to belong to the Soviet bloc. He is interviewed by Jur Schuurman of LANDac on the situation in those countries but also elsewhere.
One of the great debates in land governance is about the pros and cons of individual or communal land ownership. The theoretical background for the debate is found, to a large extent, in the body of knowledge developed on ‘the commons’, with Hardin’s ‘tragedy of the commons’ and Ostrom’s critique of Hardin as pivotal elements. To analyse the potential of forms of (communal) management, Elinor Ostrom developed the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework, and dr. Marco Janssen of the University of Arizona introduces us to it in his contribution.
Current development policy is prioritising trade above aid. The government of the Netherlands, for instance, is encouraging private sector actors to engage in ‘inclusive business’, involving smallholder farmers. In this presentation, Ellen Mangnus and James Wangu analyse one such undertaking: the ‘French beans’ chain, targeting export markets in France and Germany. Reviewing factors such as the access to land, water and inputs, they conclude that it can be argued that the initiative is beneficial for participating smallholder farmers, but that there is a catch, which is precisely the ability to participate. Take a look and find out why this is so!
For more information: check out the Follow the Food program, coordinated by Utrecht University.
From the ILC database: the campaign for food and beverage companies to respect land rights.
When a value chain is made ‘fair’ or ‘sustainable’ by the efforts of all parties concerned (consumers, farmers, importers and exporters etc.), is that sufficient for development to get a strong impulse? Or is a sustainable value chain not the end of the story? It appears that sustainability of product, however well-managed, does not automatically ensure ‘sustainability of place’, and that is where the landscape approach comes in, looking at the broader regional context of such initiatives and discerning potential or actual contradictions between them. With an example from Guatemala, Bram van Helvoirt (researcher at Utrecht University) and Katie Minderhoud (learning advisor with Dutch NGO Solidaridad) show us the potential of the landscape approach.
More on coffee, land and Guatemala in this example of a good practice.
In November 2016, a Women’s Land Rights expert meeting, was held in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. It was organised by The Gender Resource Facility, Kadaster, LANDac, The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oxfam Novib and the Centre for Development Innovation at Wageningen University. Experts like Ruth Meinzen-Dick (IFPRI) and Esther Obaikol (Uganda Land Alliance) report on the meeting attended by practitioners, scholars, policymakers and representatives of grassroots movements, and that addressed one crucial question: how to successfully improve and scale women’s land tenure security and land rights?
From the ILC database, we selected good practices, both in Togo: one on paralegals that help widows enforce their land claims, the other on the Gender Evaluation Criteria used by the Global Land Tool Networdk (GLTN) to raise awareness.
Supported by findings among the Maasai in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) of Southern Kenya, dr. Caroline Archambault of Leiden University College The Hague engages in the debate about the ‘tragedy of the commons’ (see Marco Janssen’s contribution, above), discussing the consequences of privatisation of tenure for pastoralism in this region, where the easy mobility of livestock (essential in arid regions) has always depended on some form of communal tenure. Special attention is paid to the position of women and their views on privatisation. It turns out that things are less simple than they look: not only are communities much less homogeneous that we might believe, with important differentiations along the gender and generation axis; also, not all the women have the same interests nor, hence, the same opinion on the pros and cons of land privatisation. In other words, “let’s de-homogenize community; let’s de-homogenize women”, to quote Caroline.
In 1988, a new Constitution came into force in Brazil. Its principles are, among others, decentralization and participation. The new constitution describes the social function of property and, with specific reference to urban land policy, states that “urban property fulfills its social function when it complies with the fundamental demands of urban development expressed in a master urban plan”. In other words, property is not just a question of private ownership. How does this play out in São Paulo?
Dr. Roberto Rocco is an associate professor at the Technological University in Delft (the Netherlands).
One important driver of, frequently irregular or non-supervised, land acquisition deals is tourism, especially in its residential form: semi-permanent migration of retired people to sunny destinations. This happens in Europe (Spain, notably), but also in Costa Rica, where many American ‘pensionados’ take up residence for the better part of a year. Based on her Ph. D. thesis, dr. Femke van Noorloos of Utrecht University (the Netherlands) explains what this means for local communities and people living on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and issues recommendations for the government.
In this section of our gateway we have selected, with the generous permission by the copyright, a number of appealing items that can provide the visitors of our website with more background on the issues that are nowadays in the frontline of theoretical and/or and policy debate. The items are classified in subtopics such as present trends in land governance, gender and land rights, community lands, the voluntary guidelines for land tenure (VGGT) and more.
Scrolling down you will find the following thematic categories:
Dr. Thomas Sikor, University of East Anglia (2014)
Prof. Sikor puts forward the thesis that a transition is going on from ‘classic’ territorial land governance to flow-centered land governance, determined by demand for and supply of resources. Examples of this are industry-led sourcing, demand for organic and certified products; forestry products certification etc., all with a bearing on land governance.
Land Development and Governance Institute, Kenya (2013)
The journey towards Land Reforms in Kenya (2013). This documentary highlights conflicts and challenges as well as gains made thus far and the way forward in the land management sector, exploring the concept of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) sector and the evolution of land policies since Kenya’s independence. You can find out more about the LDGI here.
Zambia Land Alliance (2015)
An excerpt of a brief docu-video made by the Zambia Land Alliance that profiles the people of Macha village in Southern Province, who (without formal land titles) were dispossessed (and displaced) by commercial biofuel farmers.
Mekong Region Land Governance Programme (2016)
Report on how the customary tenure system works in Myanmar, and how it is taken into account by researchers and the authorities. A plea is made for multi-stakeholder dialogue.
Legal Resources Centre (2012)
Mr Mabasa is one of the 22 million South Africans living under a traditional authority. With the help of the Legal Resources Centre he is fighting eviction (due to housing development) without compensation from his field that he has worked on for more than 20 years. The Legal Resources Centre provides free legal services to the poor, marginalized and vulnerable people and communities of South Africa.
The government of Uganda is set to issue one million land titles to communal or customary land owners. Spokesman of the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Dennis Obbo says the process of mapping customary land has started with three districts after it was successfully piloted in Kasese district. As Francis Jjingo reports, government will heavily subsidise the cost surveying the lands before the titles are issued. The government says the work in in three districts has started after it was successfully piloted in Kasese district. However, the population says the government is grabbing land through this process.
Interviews with experts on “Why VGGTs?”, who outline how the Voluntary Guidelines were formulated, the central role of the Committee on World Food Security, who stands to benefit most, and why the guidelines are so important.
An introductory (animated) video to the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security.
Global Donor Platform for Rural Development (2014)
Gregory Myers speaks about the upcoming land projects database which will contain information on location, duration, funding and scope of 600 ‘land’ projects in more than 90 countries with a total value of about 2 billion dollars – as well as on the specific aspects of the Voluntary Guidelines for the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of National Food Security it supports. Since the database is ‘decentralised’ each member of the donor platform is responsible for the programme information it enters and maintains. The database is available here.
The Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the context of National Food Security.
Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (2015)
This film sheds light on national experiences and strategies to implement the Tenure Guidelines from the perspectives of government, civil society, science and academia. Putting the standards and principles of the Tenure Guidelines into practice is a real human rights endeavor and calls for fostering societal learning processes across sectors. Their implementation is crucial to achieving the goals of the internationally agreed 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The interviews were collected during the multi-stakeholder workshop “Quo vadis VGGT? Learning from the experiences of other human rights based approaches and instruments” held by the IASS Global Soil Forum at the Food and Agriculture organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome in December 2015. The question that the video tries to answer is: “do the VGGTs work?” With experiences from the Philippines, Indonesia and Namibia, among other countries.
The video shows the major challenges faced by rural women when it comes to access land and natural resources. As a part of the efforts to overcome those challenges, the Paralegal Training Programme implemented by the Juridical and Judicial Training Centre (CFJJ) of the Ministry of Justice (with FAO support) strengthens the legal empowerment of rural people by training community members as ‘paralegals’. In Portuguese with English subtitles.
Under the coordination of the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium), a game has been developed in order provide a better understanding of how the rush for land is affecting the fabric of society in Central Africa . With an innovative methodological approach, a simulation game is transformed into community theatre for action-research.The developed methodology allows researchers to access people’s hidden transcripts. Researchers and civil society partners can then detect the deeper dynamics in land conflicts and insert a positive dynamic into community building projects.
More information: The Land Rush Project
Namati Network for Legal Empowerment (2015)
This animation illustrates the drafting of by-laws and creation of mechanisms for accountable, equitable and sustainable governance of community lands and natural resources, including protections for the rights of women and marginalized groups.
Yuliya Neyman, USAID (2015)
A short talk about the land governance risks that come with increased foreign investments and the tool that USAID proposes in the form of its ‘Operational Guidelines for Investments’.
African Studies Centre Leiden (2013)
Both in northern Uganda and South Sudan people driven away by violence in the past are now returning to their home communities. Some of them, however, find their lands occupied by others and end up in conflict. Why is there so much confusion and contestation about land when violent conflict is over? And what makes land issues so difficult to resolve? This documentary explores land disputes in Yei County in South Sudan and Amuru District in northern Uganda, and the challenges they pose for post-conflict governance. This is a film by Mathijs van Leeuwen, Doreen Nancy Kobusingye, and Peter Hakim Justin, of the African Studies Centre, Leiden University, in collaboration with YOGIEMONK Televisie Producties. It was produced as part of the ‘Grounding Land Governance’ programme, a research programme financed by WOTRO – Science for Global Development – NWO.
With support from the Dutch Cadastre and a participatory approach, people in Kenya can register their land in a relatively straightforward way.
Institute of Land Governance (2015)
A two-week training for local government officials and others, organized by the International Land Coalition, and Xavier Science Foundation, Inc. – Institute of Land Governance, in partnership with ANGOC, DILG-X, and Xavier University.
Centre for Indigenous Studies (2012)
Cristina Coc and Pabla Miss from the Maya Leaders Association discuss their advocacy for Maya land rights in Belize.