Over 50 scholars from a wide variety of disciplines have joined IOS Fair Transitions, a platform of the Institutions for Open Societies (IOS) at Utrecht University.
LANDac, the Netherlands Academie on Land Governance for Equitable and Sustainable Development, is a partnership between Dutch organizations working on land governance. The partners are the International Development Studies (IDS) group at Utrecht University (leading partner), African Studies Centre, Agriterra, the Sociology of Development and Change (SDC) group at Wageningen University, the Land Portal Foundation, HIVOS, the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Enclude Solutions.
IOS Fair Transitions / LANDac Conference 2023
Fair Transitions and the Politics of Land: Institutions and imaginaries for inclusive futures
This year, LANDac joins forces with IOS-Fair Transitions at the 2023 Annual Conference to discuss the intersection of debates on fair transitions and land governance in the context of climate change. The IOS-Fair Transitions-LANDac 2023 International Conference is structured around the common challenge of finding ways to make transitions fair and inclusive for human and non-human life. We look forward to an exciting transdisciplinary collaboration that we hope will draw many of you to Utrecht, the Netherlands. It will take place on June 28, 29 and 30 and will be an on-site event with a limited number of hybrid options.
Questions about how land is governed and controlled in the context of multiple crises are key to debates about fair transitions. The energy transition, net-zero ambitions, nature protection, and food system transformation all involve claims on land, water, and forests. How these claims are framed, analysed, and governed, how access to land is organised, and who gets a seat at the table to discuss key decisions are questions of urgent concern from both a fair transitions perspective and a land governance perspective.
More than ever, land is scarce and the transitions on the agenda take place in a context of high inequality at multiple scales and levels. Exclusionary pathways of transition lead to highly unfair distributions of ‘costs and benefits’ of the effects of climate change and mitigation measures. Under the current conditions of capitalism and authoritarianism, climate, food security, and biodiversity imperatives may lead to the loss of access to land and resources, and propel a deepening of existing social, economic, and political inequalities. Feminist, (post-)colonial and intersectional critiques from across the globe suggest ways to rethink these wicked problems and expose false solutions. The growing awareness that fair transitions in our times have to take into account non-human life in all of its articulations, asks for a serious change of perspective. Rethinking justice and inclusion from this perspective is hugely challenging- in land governance and beyond.
The current situation raises urgent questions as to how these transitions will and should be governed, and how dynamics of deepening exclusion and inequality should be addressed and prevented. The challenges ahead call for theoretical, historical, legal, and empirical analysis, feeding smart and sustained action. Key global concerns are: How much land do we need for what transitions? Who is able to claim what part, on what basis, and at whose expense? What (legal) frameworks should guide decision-making? With this background, the questions guiding this conference are: How could transitions be made fair for both human and non-human life? What role is there for land governance actors and (formal and informal) institutions? Who will have a seat at the table and what knowledges are taken into account? How will non-human interests be represented? Could transitions be a lever for promoting equity?
Professor Mark Jackson
Wednesday, June 28th
Dr. Mark Jackson is a human geographer with an expertise in postcolonial, decolonial and posthuman geographies. His interests revolve around the ecologies of thought and action, knowledge ecologies, critical theory, urban life and political ecology.
Dr. Fatima Denton
Wednesday, June 28th
dr. Fatima Denton is the Director of United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UU-INRA) and holder of the Prince Claus chair. As chair holder dr. Denton has a goal to democratize the debate around just transitions by fighting for the inclusion of communities that are most affected.
Professor Christian Lund
Friday, June 30th
Lund is a Professor of Development, Resource Management, and Governance, at the Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen. His research focuses on property, local politics and state formation.
The conference will be concentrated on-site, in Utrecht city centre. Limited options for hybrid sessions will be available. Keynote sessions will be live streamed.
Wytske Chamberlain (UU & LAND-at-scale)
Mayke Kaag (African Studies Centre Leiden)
Barbara Codispoti (Oxfam Novib)
Joanny Bélair (Bureau du Québec, Rabat)
Gemma van der Haar (WUR/LANDac)
Annelies Zoomers (UU)
Rick Dolphijn (UU, IOS Fair Transitions)
Imke Greven (RVO Netherlands)
Richard Pompoes (UU, IOS Fair Transitions)
Marit Meijer (UU, IOS Fair Transitions)
Summer School: Land Governance for Development
The conference takes place back-to-back with the LANDac/Utrecht University Summer School Land Governance for Development, which will take place 3-14 July 2023 in Utrecht. For more information and to register, please visit the Utrecht Summer School website. Summer School participants may join the conference free of cost.
In a world grappling with numerous challenges related to climate change, socio-economic issues, and migration, the significance of land cannot be overstated. Land is not just a concern for the land community but for all communities, as it holds the potential to address critical global issues. Recognizing the need for a comprehensive approach to land governance, a global land agenda is being proposed. This blog explores the origins, objectives, and actions required to pave the way for effective land governance on a global scale.
In the context of the joint IOS-Fair Transitions-LANDac International Conference, the parallel session on Justice at the heart of land governance: Envisioning the intersections of informal justice with land conflict, climate vulnerability, and food insecurity took place on June 30th, 2023.
This session addressed the fact that the rights implications and the social and economic consequences of current climate change and biodiversity strategies in the context of the Rio Conventions for millions of people are not sufficiently acknowledged, researched, and addressed.
This session brought together insights on land governance and climate resilience, with a specific gender focus. Women suffer from lack of access to, decision making over, and use of land. At the same time, climate change disproportionally affects women. Research indicates that ‘gender just land governance’ forms the key to use land in a sustainable, climate-proof way.
Communities in developing countries are increasingly exposed to the effects of climate change. Although they contribute little to greenhouse gas emissions, many communities are at the forefront of climate change and the associated extreme events. They are faced with events that undermine their food security, such as droughts and floods, but also increased pressure on land due to climate-induced migration. In this session, we delved into the nexus of climate change and land governance.
In the wake of global climate action, large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) for renewable energy and carbon offset projects will increase the pressure on land. In addition, deforestation-free value chains that are also intended to reduce carbon emissions will require changes in the conduct of LSLAs. This session assessed the scope of these investments and policies and reviewed their livelihood and environmental impacts in the Global South.
This panel session reflected on the definition of ‘scaling-up’ with experts from the field bridging experiences from the ground to the theoretical concept of scaling. The focus lied on scaling for increased tenure security – geographically and/or institutionally. Reflections were given on what was scaled, why, how scaling unfolds and what has been learned – in the field of land governance. The session was organized by LAND-at-scale. Scaling is at the heart of both the name as well as the strategy of the LAND-at-scale program (LAS). LAS is a land governance support program funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and managed by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).
Good Land Governance is a governance system that aims to protect the property rights of individuals and enterprises based on following good governance principles like accountability, transparency, the rule of law, effectiveness, efficiency, equality and public participation.
Nowadays when it comes to land, many transitions are ongoing, and many organizations target processes of change to improve livelihoods while defining their target groups. In this roundtable we aimed to critically engage about who is targeted, who is left out and why, and how to deal with non-beneficiaries in the proximity of interventions to make these processes of transition fairer and more inclusive.