From 7 – 18 July 2014, LANDac organized its fifth summer school course ‘Land Governance for Development’ in cooperation with the Utrecht Summer School in the historic centre of Utrecht. The fifth edition of the 2-week course drew the largest number of course participants so far with 28 attending development practitioners, PhD students, MSc students, and others working and studying land-related topics. Course participants came from a diverse number of countries, including Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mozambique, Tanzania, Turkey and the UK. Disciplinary backgrounds ranged from geography, sociology and economy to engineering and land administration.
The new design of this year’s programme included lectures, workshops and discussions, led by different Dutch and international land governance experts. A general background into the subject of land governance for development was provided by lectures about the global land rush, an analytical framework for studying land grab, land administration, and land issues in post-conflict situations. Other lectures and workshops focused on issues such as (trans)national land investments in Indonesia and the Philippines, lobby and campaining for land issues (Oxfam Novib), fostering land governance by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, World Bank policies and the Land Governance Assessment Framework, the role of responsible business, land price formation, residential tourism in Costa Rica, urban pressures on farmland in Vietnam, challenges of participatory land governance in Mozambique, government land acquisition and resettlement policies in India, and the role of farmer’s organizations in lobbying for land rights. The participants also joined for a day excursion to a Dutch livestock farm near Utrecht, where a livestock expert and a local farmer showed their experiences in livestock farming and land use. The course was concluded with case studies based on student’s own interests through a presentation and poster.