Monday, December 12, 2011


CALL FOR PAPERS: 18th Annual International Sustainable Development Research Conference, University of Hull

This international peer reviewed conference will provide a forum for discussion on the complex issue of sustainability, welcoming both empirical and theoretical contributions considering developed, developing and transition economy perspectives relating to one of the following themes:

CAPRi readers may wish to take particular note of Track 5f: Large-scale land acquisitions and sustainable development in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The ‘global land rush’ is usually framed as a problem involving capital rich countries and investors (e.g., from China, Japan, Brazil, or Gulf states like Qatar) on the one hand and resource rich countries on the other. Driven by the food crisis and the rapidly growing demand for bio-fuels, foreign and domestic investors (often supported by the state in the host country) buy or lease large areas of farm land in Africa, Asia and Latin America for the production and export of food and biofuels.

According to the adherents (such as the World Bank), large scale investments in land are expected to be beneficial for the host countries by bringing in new technology and/or offering new sources of tax income. In addition it could help to improving food security, while also generating new perspectives for solving the climate crisis.

It is increasingly acknowledged, however, that the large scale land acquisitions often pose considerable risks, which in-clude the undermining or negating of existing rights, corruption, local and global environmental damage, nutritional deprivation, and political instability. Media reports and empirical research show that large-scale processes of land grab-bing are often at the expense of local populations.

This track aims update current knowledge and raise concerns. In order to stop land ‘grabbing’ while also taking care of food security and inclusive development, the current debate needs to be deepened and broadened. In policy debates much attention is given to the triple goal of improving land governance, protecting local people’s rights, while stimulating responsible investment. However, are such policies enough to turn the tide?

More information.

Deadline: December 15, 2011

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