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Transnational land acquisitions beyond the food and financial crises

Mechiche-alami, Altaaf LU ; Piccardi, Carlo; Nicholas, Kimberly A LU and Seaquist, Jonathan W LU (2019) In Environmental Research Letters 14(8).
Abstract
Large-scale land acquisitions (LSLA) in resource-rich countries came to global attention after the food and financial crises of 2008. Previous research has assessed the magnitude of these land investments in terms of land areas acquired. In this study, we analyze the trends in the evolution of LSLA by framing the latter as virtual land trade network with land transactions occurring between 2000 and 2015, in order to shed light on the development and evolution of this system. Based on an index we introduce to represent both the number of countries and size of deals, we discover three main phases of trade activity: a steady increase from 2000 until 2007 (Phase 1) followed by a peak coinciding with the food and financial crises between 2008... (More)
Large-scale land acquisitions (LSLA) in resource-rich countries came to global attention after the food and financial crises of 2008. Previous research has assessed the magnitude of these land investments in terms of land areas acquired. In this study, we analyze the trends in the evolution of LSLA by framing the latter as virtual land trade network with land transactions occurring between 2000 and 2015, in order to shed light on the development and evolution of this system. Based on an index we introduce to represent both the number of countries and size of deals, we discover three main phases of trade activity: a steady increase from 2000 until 2007 (Phase 1) followed by a peak coinciding with the food and financial crises between 2008 and 2010 (Phase 2) and concluded by a decline from 2011 to 2015 (Phase 3). We identify 73 countries that remained active in land trading during all three phases and form a core of land traders much larger than previously thought. Using network analysis methods, we group countries with similar trade patterns into categories of competitive, preferential, diversified, and occasional importers or exporters. Finally, in exploring the changes in investors and their interests in land throughout the phases, we attribute the evolution of LSLA to the different stages in the globalization and financialization of different industries. By showing that land investments seem fully integrated as investment strategies across industries we argue for the urgency of better regulation of LSLA so that they also benefit local populations without damaging the environment regardless of their primary purpose. (Less)
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author
organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Environmental Research Letters
volume
14
issue
8
pages
14 pages
publisher
IOP Publishing
ISSN
1748-9326
DOI
10.1088/1748-9326/ab2e4b
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c0fa0db5-b63e-4f4f-86e2-0e3084ca069d
date added to LUP
2019-08-14 15:54:34
date last changed
2019-08-22 23:06:54
@article{c0fa0db5-b63e-4f4f-86e2-0e3084ca069d,
  abstract     = {Large-scale land acquisitions (LSLA) in resource-rich countries came to global attention after the food and financial crises of 2008. Previous research has assessed the magnitude of these land investments in terms of land areas acquired. In this study, we analyze the trends in the evolution of LSLA by framing the latter as virtual land trade network with land transactions occurring between 2000 and 2015, in order to shed light on the development and evolution of this system. Based on an index we introduce to represent both the number of countries and size of deals, we discover three main phases of trade activity: a steady increase from 2000 until 2007 (Phase 1) followed by a peak coinciding with the food and financial crises between 2008 and 2010 (Phase 2) and concluded by a decline from 2011 to 2015 (Phase 3). We identify 73 countries that remained active in land trading during all three phases and form a core of land traders much larger than previously thought. Using network analysis methods, we group countries with similar trade patterns into categories of competitive, preferential, diversified, and occasional importers or exporters. Finally, in exploring the changes in investors and their interests in land throughout the phases, we attribute the evolution of LSLA to the different stages in the globalization and financialization of different industries. By showing that land investments seem fully integrated as investment strategies across industries we argue for the urgency of better regulation of LSLA so that they also benefit local populations without damaging the environment regardless of their primary purpose.},
  articleno    = {084021},
  author       = {Mechiche-alami, Altaaf and Piccardi, Carlo and Nicholas, Kimberly A and Seaquist, Jonathan W},
  issn         = {1748-9326},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {07},
  number       = {8},
  pages        = {14},
  publisher    = {IOP Publishing},
  series       = {Environmental Research Letters},
  title        = {Transnational land acquisitions beyond the food and financial crises},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab2e4b},
  volume       = {14},
  year         = {2019},
}