Panel 14: GOVERNANCE – Legal Frameworks

Parties to land deals extend beyond primary lessors and lessees, and may involve private companies, national governments, regulatory institutions, financiers, non-governmental organisations, and local communities, among others. The papers in this panel explore multiple laws, treaties, codes, agreements, standards and regulations which frame land deals, including conservation-based protocols which now help incentivize land acquisitions for the carbon trading industry.

Country cases derive from Asia and Africa, where public lands, often in practice held under local forms of tenure, are widely subject to leasing and where processes of privatisation and titling are underway. The papers demonstrate the powerful role of legal instruments in the land rush, the dangers of weakly or unfairly structured domestic legislation, and the way in which the law is being used to legitimize, or curb, concentration of control over large territories. The significance of global and national legal pluralism in the context of rising competition for land is also highlighted.

Chair: Liz Alden Wily

Ian Scoones