The (in)effectiveness of Global Land Policies on Large-Scale Land Acquisition

S.M. Verhoog

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePosterOther research output


Due to current crises, large-scale land acquisition (LSLA) is becoming a topic of growing concern. Public data from the ‘Land Matrix Global Observatory’ project (Land Matrix 2014a) demonstrates that since 2000, 1,664 large-scale land transactions in low- and middle-income countries were reported, covering an area of 69 million hectares. The majority of these land deals, also referred to as ‘land grabs’, took place between 2008 and 2010, peaking in 2009. New evidence reveals that local and national governments and elites are largely initiating and facilitating these land deals, mainly driven by Western investors in order to meet (renewable) energy and commodity demands in the nearby future. International institutions as well as national governments and elites play a dominant role in facilitating these land grabs.
Large-scale land acquisition often goes hand in hand with issues of displacement, weak governance structures, corruption, conflicts, and environmental damages. Several international institutions (World Bank Group, Food and Agriculture Organization – Committee on World Food Security, European Union and African Union) have taken the initiative in developing Global Land Policies in an attempt to govern the global land grab. The effectiveness of these so-called ‘soft law' instruments is however increasingly being questioned. This paper therefore offers a comparative institutional analysis on the effectiveness of global land policies on large-scale land acquisition.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2014
EventChanging Climate Change Communication: A Conference on the Interactions between Culture, Society and Language in the Context of Global Warming - VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 21 Jul 201422 Jul 2014


ConferenceChanging Climate Change Communication
Internet address


  • climate change
  • Colonialism
  • development aid
  • Developing Countries
  • world bank
  • European Union
  • African Union
  • food and agriculture organization
  • poverty
  • environmental conflict
  • food security
  • soft law
  • code of conduct
  • voluntary guidelines
  • global land policies
  • FPIC
  • Committee on food security
  • customary land rights
  • food sovereignty
  • smallholders
  • environmental damages


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