Princetonlaan 8a, 3584 CB, Utrecht +31 30 253 13 63

Annual conference open for registration!

We are happy to announce the IOS Fair Transitions / LANDac Annual Conference 2023 is now open for registration! We are calling upon practitioners, policy makers and scholars from a wide variety of fields (humanities, geosciences, law, governance and those involved in issues of sustainability) to join us in an interdisciplinary and meaningful dialogue on how to radically rethink sustainable development and institutions for future safeguarding of ecological boundaries and the boundaries of fair and just development.

We welcome you in Utrecht from June 28th to June 30th, 2023.

More practical information will follow, so be sure to keep an eye out for the Conference Page and the socials (LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter).

You can register through the Conference Page. Our conference assistant will be in touch with you within 3 work days. Requests for letters for visa applications are also handled upon registration. Please be in touch with the session organizer of your respective session to find out if your abstract has been accepted. The session overview of the conference can be found here.

Lastly, please note that early-bird tickets apply from April 14th until May 14th.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

The organizing team

IOS Fair Transitions / LANDac Conference 2023

Fair Transitions and the Politics of Land – Institutions and imaginaries for inclusive futures. Welcome to the IOS Fair Transitions – LANDac International Conference of 2023! 28 June – 30 June. You can now register for the LANDac Annual Conference 2022! Click on the button below…

IOS Fair Transitions / LANDac Conference 2023 – Call for sessions

Article: The role of protected areas and land tenure regimes on forest loss in Bolivia: accounting for spatial spillovers

By Sebastien Boillat, Graziano Ceddia 

The conversion of tropical forests to croplands and grasslands is a major threat to global biodiversity, climate and local livelihoods and ecosystems. The enforcement of protected areas as well as the clarification and strengthening of collective and individual land property rights are key instruments to curb deforestation in the tropics. However, these instruments are territorial and can displace forest loss elsewhere. We investigate the effects of protected areas and various land tenureregimes on deforestation and possible spillover effects in Bolivia, a global tropical deforestation hotspot. We use a spatial Durbin model to assess and compare the direct and indirect effects of protected areas and different land tenure forms on forest loss in Bolivia from 2010 to 2017. We find that protected areas have a strong direct effect on reducing deforestation. Protected areas – which in Bolivia are all based on co-management schemes – also protect forests in adjacent areas, showing an indirect protective spillover effect. Indigenous lands however only have direct forest protection effects. Non-indigenous collective lands and small private lands, which are associated to Andean settlers, as well as non-titled lands, show a strong positive direct effect on deforestation. At the same time, there is some evidence that non-indigenous collective lands also encourage deforestation in adjacent areas, indicating the existence of spillovers. Interestingly, areas with high poverty rate tend to be less affected by deforestation whatever tenure form. Our study stresses the need to assess more systematically the direct and indirect effects of land tenure and of territorial governance instruments on land use changes

Click here to read the full article (open access)

Fully Funded Research Opportunities at National University Singapore

There are new roles open for fully-funded research opportunities attached to our new SSRC Grant on Climate Governance of Nature-based Carbon Sinks in Southeast Asia.

The positions are for three, four-year PhD scholarships in the Department of Geography and three Research Fellowships, each up to four years, at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore.

To find out more information please visit:  

Vacancy Post Doctoral Researcher at UvA

Are you interested in the study of nationalism and inequality and the role of the natural environment in narratives and practices around nationalist politics? Would you like to work on roles of trees in Israel/Palestine through an anthropological approach?

The Department of Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam is looking for a postdoctoral researcher who will work within the research project Political Trees: Arboreal Nationalism in Israel-Palestine initiated and led by dr. Erella Grassiani.

This study looks at trees as political tools in the world today. Trees are “the lungs of the world” and need urgent protection in view of widespread overexploitation for food, building material and many other human needs. Their cultural and spiritual meanings are manifold, and the use and protection of trees is never a simple process. This project analyses how humans turn trees into political tools and harness ecological concerns to political goals. One form of tree-based politics is planting or uprooting trees to facilitate—practically and symbolically—the occupation and settling of land. Another is resistance to deforestation, which affects indigenous people. I call such practices arboreal nationalism.

Understanding arboreal nationalism requires asking:

  • How do states, civil society organizations and marginalized groups mobilize the symbolic, material, and environmental significance of trees?
  • How is nationalism “greenwashed”?
  • Which colonial legacies are evident in current national projects involving trees?
  • And how might we understand the agency of trees in these processes?

This project will contribute to a new understanding of the role of trees in nationalist endeavours. It will uncover the entanglement of nationalist politics and the natural environment. The project will compare the political drivers and consequences of arboreal nationalism from the perspective of local actors in Israel-Palestine. Studying this case closely will allow us to further theorize arboreal nationalism and establish urgently needed new links between the anthropology of the state, environmental studies and histories of nationalism.

What will you do

The postdoctoral researcher we are looking for will work on the sub-project ‘Political Trees in Palestine’ and will complement work already done by the principal researcher. Within this project the prospective researcher will study the multiple ways in which trees ‘matter’ to Palestinians living in the West-Bank or within the Green Line, whether this is in terms of modes of belonging, manners of protection, or resistance. The researcher will explore the way trees are at the heart of political acts, such as resistance of the military occupation and/or other forms of land grabbing.

What do we require

You have:

  • a PhD degree in anthropology or related discipline (human geography, sociology, etc.). The degree must have been obtained before the employment starting date;
  • a record (appropriate to career stage) of publications that demonstrates the ability to conduct research which is internationally recognized as contributing to the field;
  • expertise/interest in doing ethnographic work in Palestine
  • advanced knowledge of Israel/Palestine in an historical, critical context
  • good organizational and communication skills;
  • proficiency in spoken Arabic
  • proficiency in spoken and written English.

You are:

  • creative and innovative in your work.
  • intellectually curious and eager to learn.
  • able and willing to work both independently and collaboratively.

Our offer

We offer a temporary full-time contract for 38 hours per week (1,0 fte). The intended starting date is 1 October 2022, or shortly thereafter. The initial term of employment is for the duration of one year. Upon positive evaluation and satisfactory performance, you will be offered an extension for a maximum of 12 months (for a total employment period of two years).

The gross monthly salary based on full-time employment (38 hours per week) ranges from €3,821 to €5,230 gross per month. This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% end-of-year bonus. The starting salary will be based on qualifications, expertise and relevant experience. The profile ‘researcher 3’ is applicable in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities.

The UvA offers excellent possibilities for further professional development and education.

The postdoctoral researcher will be embedded in the programme group ‘Moving Matters’ at the department of anthropology. We offer an inspiring academic and international working environment in the heart of Amsterdam.

About us

To work at the University of Amsterdam is to work in a discerning, independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterized by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society. Here you can read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.

The University of Amsterdam is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the broadest spectrum of degree programmes. It is an intellectual hub with 39,000 students, 6,000 employees and 3,000 doctoral students who are all committed to a culture of inquiring minds.

A challenging work environment with a variety of duties and ample scope for individual initiative and development within an inspiring organization. The social and behavioral sciences play a leading role in addressing the major societal challenges faced by the world, the Netherlands and Amsterdam, now and in the future.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

Job Application

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application consisting in the following documents bundled in one single .pdf by 1 September  2022:

  • your application letter describing your qualifications and motivation for the position and including an initial proposal for the research project (2 pages max.);
  • your Curriculum Vitae (with a list of education, positions, research and teaching experiences, and other qualifying activities, including a list of publications/conference presentations);
  • a scan of your PhD certificate;
  • contact information for two academic references (no letters of recommendation at this stage).

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

If you encounter Error GBB451, reach out to our HR Department directly. They will gladly help you continue your application.

No agencies please.

LANDac Conference 2022 Programme

The LANDac Conference 2022 is taking off soon! We are looking forward to meeting you on location in Utrecht or online on MS Teams. Do not forget to register, which you can do here:

Below you can find the schematic overview of the conference. The programme of this conference will include a diversity of keynote speakers who will share their own message about the (r)evolutions in governing land for the future. This year’s key notes are Dr. Laura German (Professor of Anthropology, Director of the Center for Integrative Conservation Research, University of Georgia), Dr. Richard Sliuzas (Professor of Urban Planning for Disaster Risk Reduction, ITC University of Twente), and Pranab Ranjan Choudhury (Associate Director of the NRMC Center for Land Governance, India).

Want to read more? Click here to go to the conference page and find the full programme.

Job Opportunity RVO (Dutch) – Programma Adviseur Landrechten

Sollicitatie deadline: 20 mei!

Solliciteer hier.

Binnen het team Mondiale Vraagstukken Voedselzekerheid zoeken wij een Programma Adviseur Landrechten voor ‘LAND-at-scale’.

De afdeling internationale ontwikkeling onderdeel team Mondiale vraagstukken (MV) voert diverse programma’s uit voor het Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken. Deze programma’s zijn gericht op armoedebestrijding, door onder andere een bijdrage aan voedselzekerheid zoals:

  • De SDG Partnerschapfaciliteit.
  • Faciliteit Duurzaam Ondernemen en Voedselzekerheid (FDOV).
  • LAND-at-scale.

De belangrijkste doelstelling van het LAND-at-scale-programma is het versterken van essentiële componenten voor landbeheer voor mannen, vrouwen en jongeren die het potentieel hebben om in belangrijke mate bij te dragen aan structurele verandering en aan rechtvaardig, duurzaam en inclusief landbeheer voor ontwikkelingslanden.
LAND-at-scale richt zich op opschaling van succesvolle pilots, ondersteuning van innovatieve interventies en investeren in meer kennis en leren om zo impact te vergroten.

Wat houdt de functie in?

  • Je draagt (mede) zorg voor synthetiseren en dissemineren van resultaten en geleerde lessen.
  • Je faciliteert partijen (bedrijven, (lokale) overheden, NGO’s en/of kennisinstellingen) door inzet van middelen en netwerk om zo de impact van projecten te vergroten.
  • Je adviseert partijen (bedrijven, (lokale) overheden, NGO’s en/of kennisinstellingen) over project ideeën, die kunnen passen binnen LAND-at-scale .
  • Je draagt bij aan goede formulering van en/of ziet toe op een goede uitvoering van projecten.

Voor bovenstaande taken onderhoud je intensieve contacten met overheidsinstanties in de betrokken landen, de ambassades en de bedrijven, kennisinstellingen en/of NGO’s die de projecten uitvoeren. Ook bezoek je regelmatig deze landen en zie je toe op de uitvoering van de projecten daar.

Article: Learning from Africana critical theory: A historicized contextualization of the impacts of Mozambique’s natural gas project

By Emilinah Namaganda, Kei Otsuki, and Griet Steel

Over the past decade, Mozambique’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in the province of Cabo Delgado has symbolized a new development opportunity for the country. The project attracted foreign investments to the province, and the national government has used it to showcase its progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The project however also introduced various socioeconomic ills including the displacement of over 10,000 people from their homes and livelihoods. Since 2017, Cabo Delgado province has simultaneously been an epicenter of armed violence, predominantly attributed to radical Islamic insurgency, communities’ marginalization from an expanding frontier of extractivism, and overall economic development. In this paper, we argue that understanding and addressing the negative impacts of contemporary extractivism in Mozambique require a historicized contextualization. Drawing on Africana critical theory (ACT), we contribute to this scholarly gap by highlighting several ways in which the challenges presented by the LNG project in Cabo Delgado are reminiscent of or rooted in colonial extractivism. To address the contradictions of contemporary extractivism, we propose that ACT scholarship which influenced some of the progressive policies of the anti-colonial and early post-independence periods may be insightful.

Click here to read the full article (open access)

Register here for the LANDac Conference 2022!

You can now register for the LANDac Annual International Conference of 2022!
Click here to go to the registration form

We are very happy that we will be able to receive you on location again. Therefore, the conference will be held in a hybrid format from 29th of June until the 1st of July.

The LANDac Annual International Conference offers a podium for knowledge exchange between researchers, practitioners and private sector representatives working on land governance for equitable and sustainable development. We invite you all to join our conference, with the central theme “Governing land for the future – What (r)evolutions do we need?”

More than a decade into the ‘land grab’ debate it is time to ask ourselves some tough questions: What have our efforts to regulate land-based investments brought us? Where did we manage to make land governance work for equity and sustainability and where did we fail? From the outset some of us were more optimistic and others more pessimistic about the possibility to ensure fair outcomes. Today, however, most would agree that whatever successes have been achieved, these have not been able to change the overall pattern of dispossession, inequality and resource depletion. Have land governance interventions just been scratching the surface?

At the 13th LANDac Annual Conference, we need to discuss what it takes to address today’s and tomorrow’s land issues. Do we need further evolution of current approaches, or rather a revolution in land governance thinking? This is an urgent question. While the early wave of mega land deals seems to have waned, on the ground alienation and dispossession continue unabated, if in more diverse and stealthy ways. Pressures on land and other natural resources seem to be increasing, authoritarianism is omnipresent, and the violence against territorial defenders and human rights activists is increasingly worrying. As we review our efforts to address these issues the question arises: Should we tune the instruments at our disposal (“evolution”)? Or do we need a more radical re-think (“revolution”)?

Click here to go to the registration form

Research publications: Ten Years After

We are happy to announce the first publications of our research project Ten years after: A reality check on impact assessments of infrastructural projects.

This project aims to establish how impact assessments can be made more accurate and to reflect on what we may and may not expect of this instrument. The project reflects, along with specialised agencies, on what might be done to close the gap between the real and projected impacts of investments in infrastructure. It is a collaboration between LANDac, SDC at Wageningen University and Royal HaskoningDHV.

The publication of this study focuses on exploring and identifying the key concerns and debates in the field of ESIA, and on identifying ways to improve ESIA, and enhance its potential to contribute to sustainable development and reduce negative social impacts.
A literature study was conducted to bring together what has been written concerning the effectiveness of ESIA and how well the instrument is working, and then interviews were held with 13 ESIA experts. This report presents the findings of this explorative study and identifies the main concerns and ways to improve ESIAs.

Additionally, a 2-pager has been created based on this report.

Click here to go to the publications

More publications will follow in the coming months, as field research is currently being conducted on this topic in different countries.

Cover photo: Dam under construction in Sri Lanka. © Lakshman Nadaraja/World Bank