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Call for Abstracts – Conference & Summit 2024


Conference & Summit

Land governance and the politics of fair transitions:

Deepening the search for social justice

IoS Fair Transitions Platform & LANDac

Utrecht, the Netherlands | 3-5 July 2024

Closes March 15, 2024!

Building on the successful collaboration in last year’s Annual Conference, the IoS Fair Transitions Platform (UU) and LANDac are pleased to launch this Call for Abstracts for a second joint Conference, which will have a somewhat different set-up from what you are used to and end with a Summit. We have made the selection for the panel sessions and round tables for the first two days. We now invite all interested to submit abstracts for these sessions. Building on your input, we will conclude on the last day with an experiment of democracy – a more-than-human Summit. There will be limited hybrid options for participation in the Conference and the Summit.

The starting point for the Conference and Summit is the recognition that ongoing transitions in the name of climate change and clean energy are deeply unfair in multiple ways. The challenges involved in making these transitions ‘fair’ are enormous and some would say we are ‘beyond justice’ and can only limit damage. The picture is clear enough: climate policies and so-called green investments place huge burdens on people and spaces in the Global South as well as on areas inhabited by marginalized populations in countries of the Global North. Their rights are put under pressure, safeguards are lacking or not enforced, and the room to defend their lands, forests, pastures, and territories is constrained. Existing inequities are deepened.

In view of these challenges, how to do and think justice? Laws, regulations, and institutions that claim to make policies and investments more ‘inclusive’ often fail to do so. Instead, they may be instrumentalized by elites, facilitate resource capture, and ‘green wash’ extractivism. The land grab debate has shown that technical and managerial approaches alone, without a commitment to justice, risk feeding into procedural dispossession rather than fair outcomes. And as ‘climate justice’ is becoming part of global transition parlance, it risks being stripped of its emancipatory potential.

A first challenge is to uphold rights in view of the new wave of land and resource grabbing. For this, we can build on the experiences of those who have exposed land grabbing in its many guises and have protected and defended rights through land tenure reforms, advocacy, and grassroots activism. But how to think of social justice in the face of the high levels of destruction we are currently witnessing and how to face the issue of ‘extinguished’ rights? Can we extend our approach to justice to include not only protection but also restoration/regeneration and the reclaiming of vital spaces?

A second challenge is therefore to extend and deepen our understandings of social justice. There are interesting developments exploring more-than-human perspectives in debates on fair transitions. It is of particular urgency to strengthen solidarities and re-think justice in relation to past and future generations or along the lines of multispecies justice, which brings the moral obligation to consider the interests of those who cannot represent themselves in political deliberation. We propose to explore new narratives of more-than-human democracy, involving human connections with lands, natures, and their aspirations, and discuss how these could strengthen and deepen social justice. The Conference and Summit will explore both theoretical and practical implications from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Keynote speakers

We are pleased to announce that amongst our special guests this year will be:

  • Professor Frances Cleaver, Chair in Political Ecology, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University
  • Professor Bram Büscher, Chair of the Sociology of Development and Change group, Wageningen University
  • Dr Kumi Naidoo, Human Rights and Climate Justice Activist

More information and other keynote speakers will be announced shortly.

Conference format

The event will be held on site, with a limited number of hybrid possibilities. On the first two days, a limited number of sessions will be allowing speakers to join online; session organisers will be hosting the session in-person, in Utrecht. Please consult the Overview of Sessions 2024 to find which sessions allow online presentation.

Keynote sessions will be streamed and accessible online free of cost. A link to distribute in your networks will be shared ahead of the conference.

The Summit, on the third day of the event, will be on site only.

The conference dinner will be held on the second day of the conference. Please note, that the cost of dinner is to be borne by conference participants, in addition to the participation fee.

Conference themes

  1. Land governance: safeguards and the defence of rights 
  2. Carbon colonialism: A new scramble for land in the name of the climate?
  3. Justice as restoring, re-claiming, re-commoning
  4. Building more-than-human solidarities in the search for social justice
  5. Ecocide and social justice
  6. Rethinking democracy and the politics of knowledge

For a complete overview of the sessions and their descriptions, click here or click on the themes below. More information on the submission guidelines can be found below. The below list of sessions, as well as the Overview of Sessions can be subject to change. Please consult the IOS Fair Transitions and LANDac websites for the most recent versions.

Land governance: safeguards and the defence of rights

What is happening to safeguards to rights to land, water, and forests under the current climate imperative as well as the claiming of spaces for massive city and infrastructure development, and food production? What are innovative ways in which land governance actors and land rights activists and advocates seek to ensure due diligence in the context of growing inequality? What lessons can be learned from ongoing experiences in land governance, land administration, and urban planning? 

The following sessions are open for abstract submissions:

  1. Climate change, Lost rights to land or Rights to lost land?  
  2. How and to what extent does land tenure influence the staying motivations of the people in vulnerable delta locales?
  3. Environmental and human-rights risks in global supply chains
  4. European Environmental Policies impact on local communities, land governance and deforestation in the Global South
  5. Land governance in dynamic contexts: how can formalisation of land rights do justice to informal right holders?
  6. Exposing Land Corruption: Strengthening Solidarities for Justice

The following sessions are not open for abstracts:

  1. Addressing Ecological Crises or Natural Resources Rush: Political Ecology of Peasant Struggles for Access to Natural Resources in the Great Lakes Region of Africa
  2. Land Rights for Sustainable Development: The Role of Data
  3. Integrating Women’s Land Rights and Transformative Leadership Effectively into Land Programming, Policy and Partnerships
  4. Safeguards for responsible land governance – exploring ways to safeguard land and resource rights in land-based restoration and resilience projects
  5. Southern urban justice roundtable: challenges for just urban transitions in the Global Southern cities

Carbon colonialism: A new scramble for land in the name of the climate?

What are the (land governance) challenges of the rush for carbon credits and the spatial claims derived from renewable energy sources in different parts of the world? How could these challenges be met? What would it take to democratize participation in carbon markets and renewable energy and make new value chains more inclusive? And what about geopolitics: what is the role of control over land and natural resources in re-shaping international relations?

The following sessions are open for abstract submissions:

  1. Land-based carbon projects: New approaches for social and environmental success
  2. Winners and losers in climate crisis’ demands on lands: linking Indigenous women’s land and resource rights and livelihoods to net-zero and climate mitigation plans
  1. Protecting Land Rights in the Era of Green Grabbing

The following sessions are not open for abstracts:

  1. Inclusive Carbon Markets: Co-Creating Solutions for Smallholder Empowerment

Justice as restoring, re-claiming, re-commoning

How can land governance serve a broader understanding of justice beyond protection of rights through recognition and formalization? Could/should we move beyond narrow conceptualizations of property rights as individual and instrumental? What might be valuable examples of re-commoning, and regenerative or conservation agriculture? What can we learn from ‘lived resilience’ experiences of marginalized people?

The following sessions are open for abstract submissions:

  1. Women’s right to land and the climate crisis
  2. Widening the search for social justice through “earth justice”: the Igbo-Ala case in discussion with other experiences
  3. Conflict resolution and mediation practices in areas of return in Burundi, Iraq, Somalia and Uganda: innovations, lessons learned and best practices
  4. Polycrises, critical island studies, and climate cultures: new bottom-up perspectives
  5. Peoples’ Landscape Approach, restoring and re-commoning natural resources in the Rangoon Watershed in Nepal
  6. From Too Little to Too Much: the ‘last true nomads’ of Africa or the ‘climate refugees’ of today?

Building more-than-human solidarities in the search for social justice

Can the search for social justice build on more-than-human solidarities? What contributions can be made by the Rights of Nature movement? How to build on more-than-human connections with lands, rivers, trees, and other voiceless actors like future generations to deepen social justice? How to avoid separating human and non-human actors in the politics of fair transitions? And how to strengthen voices from the Global South in academia, activism and art? What does it take to decolonize the debate?

The following sessions are open for abstract submissions:

  1. Promoting forms of interspecies care to heal with nature in the Anthropocene
  2. Land and natural resources between heritage protection and development
  1. Perspectives on the recognition of a human right to land: challenges and possibilities to move forward

The following sessions are not open for abstracts:

  1. Building more-than-human solidarities or how to build the Buen Vivir

Ecocide and social justice

How do we think about guilt, liability and the duty of care in the context of irreversible biodiversity loss, land degradation, desertification, deforestation? How do we determine who is responsible and how do we hold them to account? What is the power of a legal concept such as ecocide?

The following sessions are not open for abstract submissions:

  1. The Concept of Ecocide: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Rethinking democracy and the politics of knowledge

What new visions of democracy are needed for fair transitions and giving voice to more-than-humans? What kinds of democratic alternatives and experiments are already being practiced, and what can be learned from them? How can marginalized ways of knowing be brought into the conversation; who can claim to speak on behalf of nature or future generations?

The following sessions are open for abstract submissions:

  1. Reversing the flow? The politics of knowledge co-creation on flooding and land subsidence in the South
  2. Indigenous Research Methods’ Contribution to Social Justice in Land and Natural Resources Governance
  3. Democratising local voices in donor-funded interventions
  4. Multistakeholder dialogues: unpacking facts and fables
  5. Contesting regulations: Unpacking European farmer protests to European Union environmental reforms

Submitting an abstract

We now invite abstract submissions for the IOS Fair Transitions – LANDac Conference & Summit 2024. IOS Fair Transitions and LANDac invite you to review the collection of conference sessions and submit your abstract to your preferred session. Abstract submissions should use the Abstract Submission Form, and include:

  • Title and code of the panel the abstract is submitted to
  • Title of the abstract
  • Your name(s) and affiliation(s) 
  • Your contact details
  • Abstract of max. 250 words (or follow the alternative instructions of the session you are submitting your abstract to)
  • Online or on location presence

Important! Abstracts should be submitted by 15 March 2024, in English and using the Abstract Submission Form. Please submit your abstractas a word file directly to the contact person of your preferred session and with in CC. The session organisers and Organising Committee will review all submissions. Notification on acceptance of abstracts will be done in the beginning of April. Please consult the detailed list of sessions and session organizers about the format of your session (hybrid/in-person). Kindly use the code of your session in all your communication.

Registration and fees

Registration for the conference will open soon and closes end-June. We are happy to offer an early-bird fee of €175 (open until 15 May). The regular fee for participation after 15 May is €225. Reduced fees are available for students: €100 for PhD students and €50 for Master students. Please send an email to to apply for this reduction.

Summer School: Land Governance and the Politics of Fair Transitions

The conference takes place back-to-back with the LANDac/Utrecht University Summer School Land Governance and the Politics of Fair Transitions, which will take place 8-19 July 2024 in Utrecht. For m ore information and to register, please visit the Utrecht Summer School website. Summer School participants pay a reduced conference fee of €50. Kindly send an email to to apply for this reduction.