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Mekong Land Research Forum: Annual country reviews 2018-19 cover image
Policy Papers & Briefs
February 2019
Cambodia
Laos
Myanmar
Thailand
Vietnam

The Annual Country Reviews reflect upon current land issues in the Mekong Region, and has been produced for researchers, practitioners and policy advocates operating in the field. Specialists have been selected from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam to briefly answer the following two questions:

1. What are the most pressing issues involving land governance in your country?

2. What are the most important issues for the researcher on land?

Reconsidering Sovereignty, Ownership and Consent in Natural Resource Contracts: From Concepts to Practice
Journal Articles & Books
January 2019
Global

A wave of commercial investments in the natural resource sectors has rekindled debates about the place of contracts in the interface between economic governance and control over natural resources.

Understanding Land in the Context of Large-Scale Land Acquisitions: A Brief History of Land in Economics
Journal Articles & Books
January 2019
Africa
Latin America and the Caribbean
Asia
Global

In economics, land has been traditionally assumed to be a fixed production factor, both in terms of quantity supplied and mobility, as opposed to capital and labor, which are usually considered to be mobile factors, at least to some extent. Yet, in the last decade, international investors have expressed an unexpected interest in farmland and in land-related investments, with the demand for land brusquely rising at an unprecedented pace.

Expropriation of Real Property in Kigali City: Scoping the Patterns of Spatial Justice cover image
Peer-reviewed publication
January 2019
Rwanda

The key question in this article is the extent to which current real property expropriation practices in Kigali city promote spatial justice. Current studies focus on the ambiguous manner in which real property valuation had been regulated by the expropriation law of 2007, leading to unfair compensation and various conflicts between expropriating agencies and expropriated people. Following its amendment in 2015, the law currently provides clearer procedures for valuation and fair compensation, based on the market prices.

Journal Articles & Books
December 2018
Laos

The government of (post)socialist Laos has conceded more than 1 million hectares of land—5 percent of the national territory—to resource investors, threatening rural community access to customary lands and forests. However, investors have not been able to use all of the land granted to them, and their projects have generated geographically uneven dispossession due to local resistance.

Policy Papers & Briefs
October 2018
Africa

Land disputes associated with Africa sugar often lead to long and costly delays. Our research finds 46% of disputes last over 10 years – and half of these are still unresolved today. In serious cases, disputes close projects down and severely reduce market access. Companies are failing to mitigate these serious risks because they lack the tools and data to make the business case for action.

Reports & Research
October 2018
Global

There is growing business interest in investing in agriculture in low- and middle-income countries, just as several governments are looking to attract foreign investment to promote economic development. Concerns that investments might displace small-scale producers have raised questions about how to structure businesses in inclusive ways so as to promote equitable and sustainable development in rural areas.

Policy Papers & Briefs
October 2018
Western Africa

Oil palm investments are returning from Southeast Asia to West Africa, where the crop originated. As this interest intensifies, land conflicts are likely to become more prevalent. Our research shows that such disputes can treble the cost of cultivation and cause year-long delays. Despite this, many companies do not mitigate tenure risk because they lack the data and tools necessary to understand their risk exposure and take action.

Harvard's billion-dollar farmland fiasco cover image
Reports & Research
September 2018
Global

One of the world's major buyers of farmland is under fire for their involvement in land conflicts, environmental destruction and risky investments. A new report by GRAIN and Rede Social de Justiça e Direitos Humano presents, for the first time, a comprehensive analysis of Harvard University's controversial investments in global farmland.

The report finds that:

Journal Articles & Books
September 2018
Africa
Mozambique
Zambia
China

China's presence in Africa has gained growing attention at an international level in the last two

decades, especially since the 2007 food crisis, however China's presence in Africa is far from new.

China can not been perceived as a new international actor, still its reemergence as a world's leading

economic power needs to be reconsidered. China's presence in Africa has been generating a

growing misunderstanding at a different level that Debora Brautigam clearly describes in her paper

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