International Land Deals for Agriculture: fresh insights from the Land Matrix: Analytical Report II
Contributor(s)GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies - Leibniz-Institut für Globale und Regionale Studien
Agrarsektor; Weltweit; Global; Landnahme; Landwirtschaftliche Nutzfläche; Landverteilung; Landumverteilung
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AbstractThe beta version of the Global Observatory was launched by the Land Matrix in April 2012 with the aim of creating a reliable source of data to feed debate and provoke informed action on large-scale land deals. The Land Matrix has since become an important reference point and its website has received over 165,000 visits since 2013, with the database being downloaded 20,000 times. It is widely quoted in research papers and in the press, and is increasingly being used by national organisations - including those representing land users themselves - to inform strategic planning and to open up policy dialogue. The Sustainable Development Goals have renewed the demand for good data that can inform action and measure progress towards their achievement. The Land Matrix is a contribution to this effort, producing a wealth of data to complement official statistics and geographical information on land deals and their impacts. Transparency is embraced by the International Land Coalition (ILC)'s 207 members as one of the 10 critical ingredients in achieving "people-centred land governance" - i.e. land governance that first and foremost meets the needs, and responds to the priorities, of the women, men and communities who live off the land. We are beginning to observe private and governmental investors becoming more open to sharing their investment projects, realising that it is in their interests to do so. Nevertheless, transparency is still not the norm, and there remains a challenge in complementing global data with local data, particularly regarding the impact of land deals. This report is being launched in the same year that over 400 organisations have come together behind a Global Call to Action on Community and Indigenous Land Rights, drawing attention to the massive gap between the area of land globally that is claimed by the world’s indigenous peoples and local communities (65%) and the proportion of these claims that are actually recognised by governments (10%) - which means that the livelihoods of up to 2.5 billion women and men worldwide are rendered precarious. This is land where the utmost caution must be exercised in considering any form of large-scale land-based investment. The authors of this report find that about one-third of agricultural deals recorded in the Land Matrix involve land formerly used by smallholder farmers. This gap in recognition, which is fuelling large-scale dispossessions, is one of the key issues on which urgent joint action is needed. ILC is glad that the Land Matrix Initiative is becoming more and more relevant as a data source for communities, activists, indigenous peoples, researchers, governments and the private sector alike to make informed decisions on global and local land governance.