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Conservation and Land Grabbing: Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?

Conservation and Land Grabbing: Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution? The 2013 PCLG Symposium - jointly organised by IIED, the International Land Coalition (ILC), the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Maliasili Initiatives - took place on Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th of March 2013 at London Zoo. The overall objective of the symposium was to examine the varied interactions between conservation and land rights/land grabbing in a variety of global contexts; to encourage more strategic engagement by the conservation movement in land rights and tenure concerns, highlighting different models that can be used to secure or strengthen local land rights, and the potential role of conservation in combating land grabbing thus benefitting both conservation and development. Key themes included:

  1. Key trends in land grabbing in general, and specifically ‘green grabbing’ and land acquisitions for conservation since 2000 - including variations between countries and regions. What forms do they take? What are the key drivers? Is this a new phenomenon or a continuation of a historical process? Is it escalating? Who owns the land and who is acquiring it and for what purpose?
  2. Conservation as a source and victim of land grabs – Conservation may be one of the drivers of land grabs - to increase protected area coverage, to exploit valuable tourism or hunting opportunities etc. At the same time, in some locations, land previously set aside for conservation is being converted to other uses – agriculture, biofuels, etc.
  3. Conservation strategies for securing community land rights - what models exist for securing or strengthening local land rights that could work for both conservation and local livelihoods? What are the opportunities for a) scaling these up and b) integrating them within wider efforts to address land acquisition, landscape transformations, and community land rights.
  4. Towards greater safeguards and synergies - are there underexploited opportunities for conservation interests e.g. under the CBD, and efforts to address land grabbing e.g. through the FAO Voluntary Guidelines, to better link up through shared concerns and common interventions?


A background note on the symposium is available here. (PDF)

The symposium's agenda can be downloaded here (PDF).

All the presentations from this sysmposium can be access on this page.

A report on the sympsium for IRIN News can be accessed here.


Finally, the sysmposium's report is available here.