07 November 2011

Transnational large-scale land acquisitions

The Swiss Network for International Studies recently announced that it will provide generous funding for the project entitled “Large-scale land acquisitions in Southeast Asia: Rural transformations between global agendas and peoples’ right to food” coordinated by Institute lecturer in Development Studies, Christophe Gironde and co-coordinated by Christophe Golay, Visiting Lecturer at the Institute.    

The project concentrates on the socio-political, economic and potential environmental problems characterising transnational large-scale land acquisitions. According to the coordinators, the creation of the project was motivated by the documented forceful eruption of cross-border land acquisitions in recent years and the relatively limited academic knowledge of the circumstances in which these land deals take place – in terms of processes and contexts – as well as in respect to their impacts on local populations. “Large -scale land acquisitions in Southeast Asia” will be comprised of comprehensive case studies in Laos and Cambodia and aims to produce generalised insights for evidence based decision and policy-making.

Beyond its contribution to the academic debates related to “land grabbing”, the project will provide material for policy dialogue with authorities, UN agencies, international financial institutions and non-governmental organistions in their effort and programmes that accompany the implementation of large-scale land deals and to mitigate their possible negative impacts.

The project includes collaboration with the Centre for Development and Environment of the University of Bern as well as international and state organisations for the purpose of policy dialogue. Partners include the International Land Coalition (ILC) and the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Professor Olivier de Schutter.
The Swiss Network for International Studies was created by the Graduate Institute and the University of Geneva in 2008 to promote the study of international relations and strengthen cooperation between academic institutions and international and non-governmental organisations.