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Conference & Summit 2024

REGISTER NOW!!!

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

Early Bird tickets are available until May 15 

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 for our second joint Conference, which will this year have a somewhat different set-up from what you are used to and end with a Summit. We will hold panel sessions and round tables over the first two days. 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. 

Explore the sections below for further details on registration, conference themes, programme highlights, practical information, and more. Don’t forget to secure your early bird ticket before May 15th!

Contents

  1. Registration
  2. Conference Program
  3. Conference Description
  4. Conference Themes
  5. Conference Format
  6. Practical Information

Registration

Registration for the conference is now open 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. Online presentation is free of charge. On Thursday evening we will host a 3-course Conference dinner at an iconic venue in the city centre of Utrecht.

You can now register for both the conference and the dinner here:

Registration Fees
Early Bird Fee €175
Regular Fee €225
PhD Students Fee €100
Master Students Fee €50
Online Presenters Fee €0
Dinner (Additional Fee) €57.50

Our conference assistant will be in touch with you within 3 working days. Requests for letters for visa applications are also handled upon registration. We are not able to provide sponsorships or financial support to attend the event.

Conference Programme

Please note that the following programme is provisional and thus is subject to change. For the latest version of the programme, please regularly check the Conference Page. Times are displayed in CEST (Central European Summer Time). 

Plenary Session #1: Keynote Dialogue

Presenters:

Bram Büscher

Bram Büscher is Professor and Chair of the Sociology of Development and Change group at Wageningen University and Visiting Professor at the Department of Geography, Environmental Management and Energy Studies of the University of Johannesburg. His research and writing revolve around the political economy of environment and development with specific interests in biodiversity, conservation, new media and digitalization, violence and extraction. His broader theoretical project seeks to bring biodiversity, human-nonhuman relations and conservation deeper into our understanding of the historical and contemporary trajectories of global capitalism.

Bram has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and chapters and is the author of Transforming the Frontier. Peace Parks and the Politics of Neoliberal Conservation in Southern Africa (Duke University Press, 2013). Together with Robert Fletcher, he authored The Conservation Radical Ideas for Saving Nature Beyond The Anthropocene. This 2020 book was published by Verso and has been translated into Spanish, German and French, with Italian forthcoming. His most recent book, The Truth About Nature. Environmentalism in the Era of Post-Truth Politics and Platform Capitalism was published by the University of California Press in 2021. Bram is one of the senior editors of the open-access journal Conservation & Society (www.conservationandsociety.org).

Morgan Ody

Morgan Ody is the General Coordinator of La Via Campesina and a small-scale vegetable farmer in Brittany, France. Via Campesina is a worldwide movement defending access to land, water, and territories, food sovereignty, agroecology, climate and environmental justice, as well as dignity for migrant and waged workers in agriculture. During the European farmers’ protests earlier this Spring, Megan Ody pressed the European Commission to create the conditions for an agroecological transition, in solidarity with the Global South.

Frances Cleaver

Frances Cleaver is Professor and Chair in Political Ecology at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. Her research is concerned with how we can understand natural resource governance in order to inform progressive social change. Institutions really matter in social and political life – they are the rules (often implicit) and arrangements through which people organize their lives, access resources and give order and meaning to their world. Critically, they are also channels through which power is exercised, reproduced and challenged. Working from a political ecology perspective, Frances is particularly interested in how institutions shape the governance of water, land and forests, and impact on people’s livelihoods.

Plenary Session #2: Women’s Land Rights as A Pathway to Social, Economic and Climate Justice

This plenary session will place women’s land rights in the frameworks of just and sustainable energy transitions, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Rio Conventions.

This session will be hosted by the Stand for Her Land Campaign and co-organised by ILC Africa, Landesa, IDLO, REN21, GROOTS Kenya, UCOBAC, and UN Habitat/GLTN.

Hosts

Stand for Her Land

The Stand for Her Land Campaign is closing the implementation gap for women’s land rights: the gulf between the strong standards in place to protect women’s rights to land, and the realization of those rights in practice, so that millions of women can realize the transformational power of rights to land.

Plenary Session #3: Imagining the Possible

Presenters:

Kumi Naidoo

For over 40 years, Kumi Naidoo has been a voice amongst many for social, economic and environmental justice. From his humble township upbringing in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, to his work as an anti-Apartheid activist, to his leadership of international NGOs, Kumi has remained rooted in Martin Luther King’s Creative Maladjustment principles – refusing to normalize inequality and devoting himself to exposing injustice.

Kumi serves as the Payne Distinguished Lecturer at the Centre on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University,  and Professor of Practice at the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University, and a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University and Honorary Fellow at Magdalen College. He also is a Senior Advisor for the Community Arts Network (CAN) and Special Advisor to the Green Economy Coalition.

​Kumi was International Executive Director of Greenpeace International, from 2009-2015, and Secretary General of Amnesty International, from 2018-2020. As of June 2020, he is Global Ambassador for Africans Rising for Justice, Peace & Dignity. He has served as the Secretary-General of Civicus, an international alliance for citizen participation, from 1998 to 2008. Kumi has also served the Global Call to Action Against Poverty and the Global Call for Climate Action (Tcktcktck.org), which brings together environmental aid, religious and human rights groups, labour unions, scientists and others and has organised mass demonstrations around climate negotiations.

In this next chapter of his activism journey, Kumi is dedicating himself to getting back to his ‘roots’, with a focus on contributing more to the growth of activism movements and organisations, academia, as well as paving the way forward for a new generation of activists. 

Peter Akkerman

Peter Akkerman works passionately for our beautiful planet. He grew up in the forests of the eastern Netherlands and has a background in international relations. Already from a young age he was a volunteer for the state forest agency, actively participated in the drinkingwaterproject of his father in a wide variety of African countries and started his carrier at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For almost ten years he has worked on environment, climate, and biodiversity at a variety of different ministries. Currently he is project leader for the National Climate week at the Dutch Government. Next to his work he is the founder of the Youth Environment Council, NGO “Bos dat van Zichzelf is” (forest that owns itself) and organizer of a variety of green conferences. He travels throughout Europe to speak about rights for nature, youth participation and leadership in starting green initiatives. For Peter it is important to bring people into nature, to let them experience the importance of our ecosystem and to coach young people to take action on the positive change they want to make in the world.

Summit

On the final day of our conference (July 5th) we invite you to participate in a Summit – a more-than-human exploration at the intersection of academia, activism, and the arts. We aim to extend and deepen our understandings of social justice by challenging conventional methodologies and foster creative avenues in our research. Together, we will tackle the question: How can art and the more-than-human deepen our understanding of social justice? Drawing on techniques such as counter-mapping, visual representations, storytelling, and even performance art, we will challenge traditional boundaries of academic inquiry.

Conference Description

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.

Conference Themes

For a complete overview of the sessions and their descriptions, click here.

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.

Practical Information

We want to make your attendance to the conference and your stay at Utrecht as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. In the upcoming days we will provide you with a welcome package with practical information regarding directions, venues, hotels and tips on where to eat out or enjoy a drink while in Utrecht.

Accommodation

Below you can find the hotels and hostels that have agreed to partner with us and have provided us with booking codes and discounts:

Park Plaza Utrecht

Description: You will find Park Plaza Utrecht in the heart of the center of Utrecht. A city with many restaurants, cafes and picturesque canals. You are within walking distance of the Dom, Utrecht Central Station, the Jaarbeurs and last but not least: one of the largest shopping centers in the Netherlands (Hoog Catharijne).

Booking instructions and further info: Park Plaza is offering conference attendees a 10% discount on accommodation. You can find this offer here: Discount Link

Website: https://www.parkplazautrecht.nl/

Grand Hotel Karel V

Description: What was once a 14th-century monastery and served as accommodation for knights & priests is now a luxury five-star hotel in the centre of Utrecht.

Booking instructions and further info: Karel V is offering a 15% discount on their Flexible Rates. Rooms can be booked mentioning Utrecht University and the Conference via reservations@karelv.nl.

Website: https://www.karelv.nl/en/

The Nox

Description: Warm and nightly. Romantic and distinctive… The Nox Hotel Utrecht. Enter the unique building that was built in the 17th century and be enchanted by the deep blue color of the night. This boutique hotel allows you to escape the hectic pace of everyday life, and you will find yourself in a world full of design, luxury, excellent service, and international allure. The Nox Hotel Utrecht is located a stone’s throw away from the Dom Tower, like a hidden treasure. In the middle of the city center, yet outside the bustle. 

Booking instructions and further info: The Nox hotel is offering a 10% discount on rooms during these dates on their Non-Refundable rates. The code is: Utrecht-university and can be used up until the 7th of July.

Website: https://www.thenoxhotel.com/en/

Bunk Hostel

Description: Bunk Hostel is a trendy and affordable hostel located in a historic building (old church) in the heart of Utrecht. With a range of dormitory and private rooms, Bunk Hostel offers comfortable and stylish accommodation for budget-conscious travellers. The hostel also features a restaurant and bar, as well as a shared kitchen and lounge areas.

Booking instructions and further info: Bunk Hostel is offering a 10% discount on rooms during these dates. Discount Code will be provided in the coming days, in the interim bookings can be coordinated with Nick Polson via n.l.c.polson@uu.nl

Website: https://wearebunk.com/utrecht/

Stayokay Hostel

Description: Stayokay Hostel is a budget-friendly option for travellers looking for affordable accommodation in Utrecht. The hostel offers dormitory rooms as well as private rooms, all equipped with modern amenities such as free WiFi. Guests can also enjoy the hostel’s communal kitchen and lounge areas.

Booking instructions and further info: Stayokay Hostel is offering a 10% discount on all rooms during these dates. The code is: UU and can be used up until the 7th of July.

Website: https://www.stayokay.com/en/hostel/utrecht-centrum

Map

Please find our conference map below to view our main conference locations and the hotels mentioned above. This map will continue to be updated as we approach the conference with more specific details.

For All Enquiries

Supported By

Organizing Committee

Nick Polson (coordinator IOS FT), Janwillem Liebrand (IOS FT), Gemma van der Haar (LANDac & WUR), Julia Tschersich (IOS FT), Wytske Chamberlain (LANDac-LAND-at-scale), Harrison Awuh (IDS-UU), Joanny Belair (LANDac), Barbara Codispoti (Oxfam).

Summer School: Land Governance for Development

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 ft.landac2024@gmail.com to apply for this reduction.

Registration Open Now!!! – Conference & Summit 2024 – Call for Abstracts Closed

REGISTRATION OPEN NOW!!!

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

Call for Abstracts Closed

As our Call for Abstracts closes, we are happy to announce that the IOS Fair Transitions / LANDac Conference & Summit 2024 is now open for registration! You can view our registration fees and register below.

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 for our second joint Conference, which will this year have a somewhat different set-up from what you are used to and end with a Summit. We will hold panel sessions and round tables over the first two days. Building on your input, we will conclude on the last day with an experiment of democracy – a more-than human Summit.

Registration

Registration for the conference is now open 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. Online presentation is free of charge. On Thursday evening we will host a 3-course Conference dinner at an iconic venue in the city centre of Utrecht.

You can now register for both the conference and the dinner here:

Registration Fees

Early Bird Fee €175
Regular Fee €225
PhD Students Fee €100
Master Students Fee €50
Online Presenters Fee €0
Dinner (Additional Fee) €57.50

Our conference assistant will be in touch with you within 3 working days. Requests for letters for visa applications are also handled upon registration. We are not able to provide sponsorships or financial support to attend the event.

Lastly, we have been made aware that there is some miscommunication being circulated online regarding an extension to the Call for Abstracts. We can confirm that the Call has been closed as of 15 March. Moving forward, to ensure you have the latest and correct information regarding the conference please check the IOS Fair Transitions website or the LANDac website. These two page pages will contain any official updates and announcements.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Best wishes,

The IOS Fair Transitions / LANDac Conference team

Call for Abstracts – Conference & Summit 2024

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS

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 ft.landac2024@gmail.com 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 ft.landac2024@gmail.com 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 ft.landac2024@gmail.com to apply for this reduction.

Call for Sessions – Conference & Summit 2024

CALL FOR SESSIONS

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

Call for sessions – Closes February 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 a second joint Conference, which will have a somewhat different set-up from what you are used to and end with a Summit. We welcome your suggestions for panel sessions and round tables for the first two days. 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.

Themes of the Conference & Summit

We welcome empirical, theoretical, and philosophical contributions as well practical and impact-oriented ones, in the Global South as well as North. We now invite session proposals on the following themes (please consult the instructions for submission below).

  1. Land governance: safeguards and the defense 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. 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?
  5. 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?
  6. 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?

Key dates

The conference & Summit take place on 3, 4 and 5 July 2024. The Call for sessions will open on January 16 and close on February 15, 2024. Accepted sessions will be published and call for abstracts for papers will open on February 22 and close on March 152024. Acceptance of papers will be communicated by April 1.

The Annual Summer School will take place from 8 to 19 July 2024.

Please note: Visa application procedures to the EU are lengthy. We strongly advise to start booking an appointment well ahead of time.

Conference format

The conference will be concentrated on-site, in Utrecht city centre. We aim to stream keynote sessions. We will have the possibility to host a limited number of sessions in hybrid format.

The first two days of the conference will include plenary keynote sessions and a range of parallel sessions in 1,5 hour slots. As in previous editions of the conference, we welcome a variety of formats: paper presentations, panel discussions, round tables. The sessions of the first two days will contribute to the Summit of the last day.

Regular updates on keynote speakers, accepted sessions, and other details on the programme will be shared through the LANDac and IoS Fair Transitions websites.

Submitting session proposals

The window for submitting session proposals is now open and closes by February 15. Session proposals must be submitted in English using the submission form which you can download here. Email the completed form to: ft.landac2024@gmail.com.

Please note that we will only consider proposals using the format, indicating title, contact person, which of the themes the session relates to; what will be the format of the session; and if they open up to submission of abstracts or select all presenters themselves. The organisers should also indicate if they would want to host the session in hybrid format, please note that this would require one of the session organisers to be physically present.

Session organisers, please note: even though we will offer some opportunity for online presentations, the session organiser commits to being present in Utrecht and taking responsibility for hosting the session. We also expect session organisers to contribute actively to the Summit on day three.

Registration and fees

Registration for the conference will open in February-March and close end of June 2024.

Fees: Early Bird fee: 175 Euro (before May 15); Fee after May 15: 225 Euro. Details about student rate and the conference dinner will be communicated shortly.

Contact: ft.landac2024@gmail.com

Updates on the programme and the Summer School will be published through the LANDac and IOS Fair Transitions websites.

https://www.uu.nl/en/research/institutions-for-open-societies/interdisciplinary-research/academic-foundations/fair-transitions

https://landgovernance.org/

Organizing committee

Nick Polson (coordinator IOS FT), Janwillem Liebrand (IOS FT), Gemma van der Haar (LANDac & WUR), Julia Tschersich (IOS FT), Wytske Chamberlain (LANDac – LAND-at-scale), Harrison Awuh (IDS-UU), Joanny Belair (LANDac), Barbara Codispoti (Oxfam).

 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 8-19 July 2024 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.

Save the date: IOS Fair Transitions and LANDac conference and summit

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
Save-the-date and announcing the Call for sessions

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 a second joint Conference, which will have a somewhat different set-up from what you are used to and end with a Summit. We welcome your suggestions for panel sessions and round tables for the first two days. 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.

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 seems to be 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.

Themes of the Conference & Summit
We welcome empirical, theoretical, and philosophical contributions as well practical and impact-oriented ones. A tentative list of themes has been defined for now and is to be updated in our Call for Sessions.
Carbon colonialism: A new scramble for Africa (and beyond)?– What are the (land governance) challenges of the rush for carbon credits, how could these be met, and what would it take to democratize participation in carbon markets?
Safeguards and the defense of rights – What is happening to safeguards to rights under the current climate imperative, what are innovative ways in which land governance actors and land rights activists seek to ensure some level of due diligence?
Justice as restoring, re-claiming, re-commoning– How can land governance serve a broader understanding of justice beyond protection, could/should we move beyond narrow conceptualisations of property rights as individual and instrumental?
Building more-than-human solidarities in the search for social justice– How to build on more-than-human connections with lands, rivers, trees, and other voiceless actors like future generations in the politics of fair transitions? And, how to avoid separating human and non-human actors in deepening the search for social justice?
Ecocide and social justice– How do we think about guilt, liability and the duty of care in the context of irreversible biodiversity loss? How do we determine who is responsible and how do we hold them to account? What is the power of a legal concept as ecocide?
The politics of knowledge and the politics of representation– How can marginalized ways of knowing be brought into the conversation, who can claim to speak on behalf of nature or future generations?

Key dates
The conference & Summit take place on 3, 4 and 5 July 2024. The Call for sessions will open on 15 January and close on February 15, 2024. Submission of abstracts for papers/contributions opens Feb 22 and closes on March 15, 2024.
The Annual Summer school will take place from 8 to 19 July 2024.

Please note: Visa application procedures to the EU are lengthy. We strongly advise to start booking an appointment well ahead of time.

Contact: FT.landac2024@gmail.com
Updates on the programme and the Summerschool will be published through the LANDac and IOS Fair Transitions websites.
https://www.uu.nl/en/research/institutions-for-open-societies/interdisciplinary-research/academic-foundations/fair-transitions

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Organising committee
Nick Polson (coordinator IOS FT), Janwillem Liebrand (IOS FT), Gemma van der Haar (LANDac), Julia Tschersich (IOS FT), Wytske Chamberlain (LANDac-Land-at-Scale), Harrison Awuh (IDS-UU), Joanny Belair (LANDac).

Webinar: Building Climate Resilience through Inclusive Land Governance

Date and Time: November 30th, 2023, 3:00-4:30 PM CET

On the day of the opening of #COP28, join us for a thought-provoking webinar that delves into the intricate relationship between land governance and climate resilience, a critical area that has gained immense importance in the context of global climate challenges and sustainable land use practices. This event aims to unpack the crucial role inclusive land governance plays in building climate resilience.

To set the scene, Richard Sliuzas from the University of Twente will launch a scoping study into the land-climate nexus, after which we’ll dive into specific elements of this nexus, with a specific focus on inclusive approaches, with examples from the ground.

We’re excited to bring together a panel of key change-makers in this process (local government, donors, practitioners and academia), who will reflect on these elements. Not only will they discuss the challenges and opportunities amongst themselves, but your insights, questions and experiences will also play a central role!

This event is not just a webinar; it is a platform for knowledge exchange, networking, and collective learning. We believe that the insights shared during this session will contribute significantly to the ongoing discourse on land governance and climate resilience, providing valuable perspectives for practitioners, policymakers, and academics alike.

We are committed to making this event inclusive, and we encourage participants from all backgrounds and regions to join us in this critical conversation. Together, we can contribute to a future where land governance plays a pivotal role in building resilient communities and ecosystems in the face of climate change.

Secure your spot today and be part of a movement towards sustainable and resilient land governance practices. You can register here.

Moderator:

  • Richard Sliuzas, Emeritus Professor, University of Twente

Panelists:

  • Kaj van de Voorstenvoort, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands (IGG-Climate)
  • Ombretta Tempra, Human Settlements Officer, UN-Habitat (MENA)
  • Mr. Ronald Murungi, Physical Planner, Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development (MLHUD), Uganda
  • Bernardo Almeida, Assistant Professor, Leiden University College (LUC)
  • Shuaib Lwasa, Professor, International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), University of Twente

This is the second webinar in a ‘Responsible Scaling’ series, initiated by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and the Land Portal Foundation as part of the the LAND-at-scale program. LAND-at-scale is a Dutch land governance support program, financed by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by RVO.

Rule of law and Food systems transformation dialogue

To mark World Food Day 2023, IDLO, KPSRL, LANDac, and NFP co-convened a dialogue between stakeholders in the food security, land governance and rule of law communities to foster engagement between Dutch and international policymakers and practitioners, and explore practical opportunities to advance cooperation and coherence at the nexus of action on SDGs 2 and 16.

Five panelists shared their insight and engaged with the audience on a range of topics that speak to the rule of law, land governance and food systems. This blog summarizes the dialogue.

Nexus of rule of law and food systems

One of the primary ways in which the rule of law is important for transforming food systems relates to access to land and natural resources. To bring about food system transformation not only do the drivers of large-scale agricultural production need to be changed, it is vital that smallholders and their property rights need to be included in an effective way in food systems. Indeed, inclusion of smallholders should happen throughout the value chains.

In contexts of protracted conflicts food is used as weapon, not only through starvation, but also cutting people off from their fields and trade networks. In such contexts, the challenge is to move from food aid to addressing the systematic causes of the conflict. If peace is to improve food security, an emancipatory peace perspective needs to be implemented rather than a liberal peace paradigm that builds on industrialized food systems.

Rebecca Monson (ANU) presented the case of Kiribati, which was mined for phosphor for the production of fertilizer used by farmers in Australia. This example illustrates the double land loss and the vulnerable position of indigenous people: by the local people in Kiribati who had to make way for the mines, and by the aboriginal people who lost their land to white settlers and their system of large-scale agriculture. Neither of these groups were able to protect the rights to their lands.

Rule of Law

In many contexts, there is no problem with the law, but there is challenge with implementation according to Rea Abada Chiongson (IDLO).  Laws don’t operate themselves by themselves, they need policies to get to implementation. In reality arbitrary use of power is pervasive in ‘bad’ land governance. Those who have to respect the law are not respecting the laws.

Legal land reforms centralize the concept of individual property rights, which finds its implementation in mapping and registration of land parcels. Collective land is no longer being recognized. Property rights draw a boundary around the land, but also around the people. In such contexts, how can we engage in access to livelihoods without having disputes? The panelists stress the importance of customary systems, which are explicitly  mentioned in SDG5. In debates these customary systems are often presented as ‘bad’ as opposed to state systems which are ‘good’. The reality is often more complex, with customary systems offering a vital channel to justice for large groups of people.

Colombia was used as the only case of transitional justice and land reform. But, Gemma van der Haar (WUR) argued that this case shows the paradox of humanitarian interests vs commercial interests, where interests established during the conflict have not been addressed.

Vulnerable groups

The third aspect that formed a thread throughout the dialogue was the position of vulnerable groups. These include smallholder farmers, women, but also informal workers throughout the value chain, all the way through to street sellers. As Barbara Codispoti (Oxfam) said “Those closest to natural resources are furthest from access to the rule of law.”

To strengthen women’s access to food and justice, it was said that they should be centered in decision-making, and women’s groups need financing and technical support. Whereas historically women held leading positions, these positions have been erased in our vocabulary. Historical leading position of women has been erased in our vocabulary.

The panelists all iterated the importance of collective action required to make the voices of vulnerable groups heard as individuals cannot change the system. Murtah Shannon (Both ENDS) underscore that participation of vulnerable groups in itself is not good enough, it needs to extend into decision-making. Interventions should include building the confidence and negotiation capacity of vulnerable people.

Safe spaces for dialogue, for decision-making, but also for justice, are essential. This is particularly important in contexts where legal systems on paper are strong. Civic space and voice are pushing us to think more broadly and look at land as sustenance and kin (not as property).

Silofication

A recurring term during the dialogue was “silofication”, indicating that there is still a divide between the rule of law, the food systems, and the land governance communities. It was referred to when talking about policy, about the way in which development organizations are coordinated, and academics. Even the SDGs, which were formulated as a complete set of goals that all related to each other, are used with a cherry picking approach. Rule of law practitioners focus on SDG16, food system refer in their work to SDG2, overlooking the relationships with other development goals.

Looking forward

During the dialogue  three knowledge gaps were identified:

  1. Emancipatory peace and food sovereignty. What can we learn from the connection between peace building and food systems research?
  2. Understand how people buffer. How do they achieve resilience? What strategies do they seek? What is key to their resilience. What tenure arrangements would support these strategies? How can we see food as dignity (beyond the calories)
  3. Food aid is massive. What are the value chains for this aid, what are the due diligence processes?

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs recognized much of the points brought to the table by the panelists. They have taken some first small steps in building bridges between the silos. In the LAND-at-scale program the rule of law plays a considerable role in combination with land governance and food security. Their new food systems approach looks to integrate water, justice and other actors in policy formulation and implementation.

The participants appreciated the dialogue, acknowledging the many touching points of the different disciplines. There is much to learn from, and with, each other.

Annual conference 2023 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