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

LANDac Annual Summer School Special Online Edition 2020!

Land Governance for Development – Special Online Edition!

Every summer, LANDac organises the ‘Land Governance for Development’ Summer School in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

This year, however, due to the global COVID19 pandemic, the Annual Summer School takes place online! Covid-19 and the measures taken worldwide to curb the pandemic are of great concern to the land governance community, as alarming observations are coming in about the loss of livelihoods and deepening poverty, government crackdowns on civil society, the suspension of land administration services and irregular land acquisition. We will also reflect on these current developments and immediate effects of the pandemic, and how it might change the future work and priorities of the land governance community.  

6 – 17 July 2020
Mondays to Fridays between 2PM – 5PM CEST

For more information, download the full programme above. This year’s course fee is 100 euros.

Deadline for registration: 1 July 2020

Land Rights Implications of COVID-19: A Webinar Series and Discussion

Land Rights Implications of COVID-19: A Webinar Series and Discussion

Join us for the Land Rights and COVID-19 webinar and discussion series, which is presented by Land Portal, Landesa, the Global Protection Cluster HLP AOR and GIZ, with organizing support from Environmental Peacebuilding Association, LANDac, New America and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). 

As governments press pause on economic activities and people change their work and social behaviors to halt the spread of COVID-19, there are several hidden dimensions that can put pressure on land governance and management and threaten the land rights security of millions worldwide. The response to the pandemic has unfolded like a slow-moving natural disaster, disrupting the daily pattern of our lives and revealing stressors on our institutions. And like a natural disaster, how countries and communities prepare – both before and after a catastrophic event – can be the difference in long-term prospects for resilience and recovery.

What steps can individuals and communities take to ensure they have the right to retain or return to their land and productive assets? How will COVID-19’s impact on the global food systems affect countries that rely on food imports? How can governments maintain land administration amid the disruptive nature of the pandemic? How will immigration and internal migration contribute to the “de-urbanization” of cities and increase demand for land in the countryside? What are the impacts of COVID-19 on housing? What are the gender dimensions of land rights in households where shelter orders are changing social behaviors?

This series of webinars and subsequent discussion seek to develop a set of actionable recommendations to policy makers, as well as practical recommendations based on what is happening on the ground. We aim to identify both short term and longer term actions that can effectively contribute to supporting land governance stakeholders facing an ongoing pandemic, while looking forward to post-pandemic priorities.

Register now for the webinars:

UNCCD | Opportunity: Global Land Outlook is commissioning working papers and policy briefs

Read original post here.

Established in 1994, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management.

The Global Land Outlook (GLO), the UNCCD’s flagship publication released every 4 years, is a state-of-the-art strategic communications product providing a transformative vision and framework for land management practice, policy and planning at global, regional and national scales.

The UNCCD is now commissioning a small number of working papers for the second edition of the GLO around the following themes: youth, urban-rural interface, tenure & resource rights, perverse incentives, gender and food system resilience.

GLO2 will primarily aim to support the effective implementation of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, being led by FAO and UNEP (

In addition to providing substantive content and diverse policy perspectives for GLO2, working papers are expected to compile innovative case studies, on-the-ground examples and good practices from a wide variety of sources and countries. GLO2 will be launched at the UNCCD’s 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to be held in September or October 2021.

The terms of reference are:

The deadline for applications is 30 May 2020.

More information, click here (GLTN) and here (UNCCD).

EADI | Blog Prize for Outstanding Posts on PhD Research

For the original post by Christiane Kliemann, click here.

EADI Blog Prize for outstanding posts on PhD research

We cordially invite you to present your PhD on this blog! All accepted and published blog posts will be featured in the fortnightly EADI newsletter and via social media. During the publishing process, we will help you with the editing and with becoming familiar with the rather casual and journalistic blogging style.

In October 2020 we will choose the most inspiring three articles for the blog prize. The first prize will go along with a funded invitation to the next major public EADI Event ( Directors’ Meeting or General Conference). These meetings are an invaluable opportunity for connecting and networking and provide first-hand insight into topical discussions between development research institutes.

Authors of the best three articles will receive hard copies of our edited volume “Building Development Studies for the New Millennium”, as well as a free EADI membership which includes access to our journal, the “European Journal of Development Research (EJDR)

All PhD students in Development Studies or a related field in the final phase of their PhD or up to one year after its defence are eligible to submit.

Proposed blog posts must be between 6000 and 9000 characters long, including spaces. They must be written in a casual, rather journalistic language, and should provide references in the form of hyperlinks instead of footnotes. They should include a meaningful image in landscape format or provide a link to a suitable image under a creative commons licence.

We recommend to follow guidelines for successful science-blogging on development issues, which are available for example here and here

Submissions can be either new blog posts or posts that have already been published elsewhere. In such cases, republishing consent of the initial publisher must be sought beforehand

Selection Criteria for the prize

The EADI Sub-Committee on young researchers will make the selection according to the following criteria:

  • Writing quality
  • Relevance of research topic
  • Reach and number of readers

Please submit your proposal, together with a short CV and proof of your PhD status, to We look forward to receiving interesting contributions!

UNCCD | Global Land Outlook: UNCCD Commissions Working Papers and Policy Briefs on Land Restoration

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. The UNCCD is commissioning a small number of working papers for the second edition of the Global Land Outlook (GLO2) around the following themes: youth, urban-rural interface, tenure & resource rights, perverse incentives, gender and food system resilience. 

In addition to providing substantive content and diverse policy perspectives for GLO2, working papers are expected to compile innovative case studies, on-the-ground examples and good practices from a wide variety of sources and countries. GLO2 will be launched at the UNCCD’s 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to be held in September or October 2021.

The deadline for applications is 30 May 2020.

More information can be found here



UGlobe | Open Invitation: Online Expert Meeting on Food Sovereignty

Sub-Saharan Africa faces some of the most urgent global challenges, not least in terms of food – and nutrition security in the background of rapid population growth, water scarcity and climate change. Recent research shows that African households in rural and peri-urban areas are driving the improvement and expansion of irrigated agriculture in an unprecedented manner, a process referred to as African farmer-led irrigation development.

This online expert meeting will look into how agricultural experts and urban planners should respond to farmer-led irrigation development/urban agriculture in Africa. It will take place on 12 May 2020, 13:00-15:00 Central European Summer Time (CEST). 

Confirmed speakers: Janwillem Liebrand, Gert Jan Veldwisch, Barbara van Koppen, Anna Siebert and Flávia Charao Marques. 
Confirmed participant experts: Kei Otsuki, Eggo Müller and Guus van Westen. 

Please send an email to in advance and you will receive an invitation (web-link) to join the meeting in Microsoft Teams. More information about UGlobe’s project on Food Sovereignty can be found here

LANDac | New publications MDPI Land

In collaboration with the MDPI Open Access journal Land, LANDac has published three open access papers on ‘Land Governance in Transition: How to support transformations that work for people and nature?’.

  • Domínguez, L., & Luoma, C. (2020). Decolonising Conservation Policy: How Colonial Land and Conservation Ideologies Persist and Perpetuate Indigenous Injustices at the Expense of the Environment. Land, 9(3), 65. MDPI AG. Retrieved from

The livelihoods of indigenous peoples, custodians of the world’s forests since time immemorial, were eroded as colonial powers claimed de jure control over their ancestral lands. The continuation of European land regimes in Africa and Asia meant that the withdrawal of colonial powers did not bring about a return to customary land tenure. Further, the growth in environmentalism has been interpreted by some as entailing conservation ahead of people. While this may be justifiable in view of devastating anthropocentric breaching of planetary boundaries, continued support for “fortress” style conservation inflicts real harm on indigenous communities and overlooks sustainable solutions to deepening climate crises. In reflecting on this issue from the perspective of colonial land tenure systems, this article highlights how ideas—the importance of individualised land ownership, cultivation, and fortress conservation—are intellectually flawed. Prevailing conservation policies, made possible by global non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and statutory donors, continue to harm indigenous peoples and their traditional territories. Drawing from the authors’ experience representing the Batwa (DRC), the Ogiek and Endorois (Kenya) and Adivasis (India) in international litigation, this paper examines the human and environmental costs associated with modern conservation approaches through this colonial lens. This article concludes by reflecting on approaches that respect environmental and human rights.

Keywords: fortress conservation; indigenous peoples; decolonisation; customary land tenure; forest governance; Democratic Republic of Congo; Kenya; India

  • Panez, A., Roose, I., & Faúndez, R. (2020). Agribusiness Facing Its Limits: The Re-Design of Neoliberalization Strategies in the Exporting Agriculture Sector in Chile. Land, 9(3), 66. MDPI AG. Retrieved from

The core neoliberal strategy of Chilean agrarian politics has lasted now for more than 30 years. Despite minor reforms, its fundamental pillars remain in place. While members of the agribusiness sector consider this strategy to be a role-model for food production leading to explosive economic growth, the last decade exposed its socio-ecological limits, such as declining water availability and increased conflicts over land. Taking critical literature on neoliberalization as a theoretical approach, we used law and literature reviews as well as qualitative interviews with actors from the public and private sectors to reveal the details of the strategies in the exporting agriculture sector in Chile. From the understanding of neoliberalization as a multi-layered process, we analyzed the data, focusing on three dimensions of agribusiness in Chile: (a) regulation, (b) spatial fix, and (c) ideological paradigms. In doing so, we uncovered how far the coping strategies chosen by the state and private sector have re-designed and strengthened the process of agriculture neoliberalization in order to push its own socio-ecological limits.

Keywords: agribusiness; Chile; neoliberalization; access to land and territory

  • Santpoort, R. (2020). The Drivers of Maize Area Expansion in Sub-Saharan Africa. How Policies to Boost Maize Production Overlook the Interests of Smallholder Farmers. Land, 9(3), 68. MDPI AG. Retrieved from

Maize has become the second most produced crop in the world. Specifically, in sub-Saharan Africa, global statistics show that more and more land is being used for (small-scale) maize production to meet future food demands. From 2007 to 2017, the area on which maize is grown in sub-Saharan Africa has increased by almost 60%. This rate of expansion is considered unsustainable and is expected to come at the expense of crop diversity and the environment. Based on available literature, this paper explores the political and economic processes that contributed to the increased use of land for maize production in sub-Saharan Africa. It discusses population growth as an important driver. Moreover, it unravels some of the politics and narratives triggered by climate change that have paved the way for policy measures that aimed to boost maize production in the region. These measures, which often emphasize the need for increased production, the need for new technologies and resource scarcity, overlook the largest group of maize producers that are least powerful, but most crucial for food security in sub-Saharan Africa: smallholder farmers.

Keywords: land use change; maize; political economy; food security

These papers are part of the LANDac Annual International Conference 2019 – Land Governance in Transition: How to support transformations that work for people and nature? More information on the 2019 conference and other outputs can be found here.

Environment and Urbanization | Incremental Housing as a Node for Intersecting Flows of City-Making: Rethinking the Housing Shortage in the Global South

Newly released paper by Femke van Noorloos, Liza Rose Cirolia, Abigail Friendly, Smruti Jukur, Sophie Schramm, Griet Steel and Lucía Valenzuela (2020). Click here to read the full paper. 

Incremental housing drives urbanization worldwide, and is recognized as the basis for socially relevant solutions to housing shortages in the global South. However, scholarship on incremental housing continues to focus largely on tenure, building materials and housing conditions at a local level, while incremental housing is embedded in – and dependent on – larger urban and regional systems and flows. We argue that a further reconceptualization of incremental housing is needed that acknowledges the embeddedness of local incremental building practices within broader industries, markets and practices of city-making. Starting from this observation, we suggest an extended framework for understanding the city-wide industries and flows around incremental housing, in relation to five dimensions: 1) land, 2) finance, 3) infrastructure, 4) building materials and 5) labour. Mapping these dynamics is necessary to understand fundamental questions of where, how and why initiatives aimed at improving or developing incremental housing advance or get stuck.

Read the full paper (open access)

University of Antwerp | PhD Scholarship on political ecology of PES

The University of Antwerp (Belgium) is currently offering a 4-year PhD Scholarship on “Political Ecologies of Payments for Ecosystem Services and Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Nicaragua and Guatemala” at the Institute of Development Policy. 

The research seeks to engage with questions of power and social dynamics pertaining to indigenous peoples, women and/or young adults. Through comparative analysis, the selected candidate will study how conservation policies become socially embedded, to what extend they succeed or fail to reshape nature-society relations, and how they change resource use behavior in socially and culturally diverse contexts.

The scholarship is part of a broader project funded by the Research Foundation of Flanders (FWO), and is supervised by Gert Van Hecken (IOB) and Jennifer Casolo (Nitlapan-UCA, Nicaragua).

For more information on the scholarship and all requirements, please see the following link:

Deadline for application: June 1st 2020
Start date of scholarship:  between October 1st and December 1st 2020

VVI Research Report and Policy Brief | Land and Climate Change: Rights and Environmental Displacement in Mozambique

A new research report and policy brief by Carolien Jacobs and Bernardo Almeida (2020) from the Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society (VVI).

Mozambique is a country prone to natural disasters such as floods and cyclones, and climate change is increasing these risks. The Cyclone Idai, that in March 2019 hit the central area of the country with unprecedented strength, was a clear example of the issues that the country will face in the future. Extreme weather events such as Cyclone Idai result in many problems related to people’s land rights, both in the areas directly affected by such storms, and in the areas where environmentally displaced persons seek shelter. Moreover, land rights issues such as the need to displace people from high-risk areas bring another layer of problems to climate change adaptation.

Based on a six-month research project supported by the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law, this report uses the aftermath of the Cyclone Idai in Mozambique as a case study. It looks into the dynamics of environmental displacement, land rights and conflict, and the role of international and national legal frameworks in addressing land-related problems caused by this displacement. A policy brief provides a summary of the main research findings.

You can download the research report and the policy brief here.