Large-Scale Land Acquisitions, Information and Institutions

Lessons Learned after a Decade of Land and Natural Resources Grabbing and Possible Ways

Marcello De Maria, PhD Student, University of Reading, Data Analyst, Land Portal Foundation, 
Paolo Groppo, Former FAO Territorial Development Expert, now Senior Land Conflict Expert, and 
Francisco Carranza, FAO Land Tenure Officer

DOI 10.12910/EAI2018-022


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In October 2008, the NGO GRAIN published the Report “SEIZED! The 2008 land grab for food and financial security[1]. This moment can be referred as the birthday of the recent but fast-growing literature on land grabbing or – with a more politically correct expression – Large Scale Land Acquisitions (LSLAs). After almost a decade of research and interventions, we feel it is time to take stock of the lessons learnt so far and draw some recommendations for the future. On the one hand, the crucial question raised by Cotula and his colleagues in their seminal contribution remains still open: is it just land grabbing or is it a development opportunity? Alongside with this one, other crucial questions remain unsolved, so that the overall impact of this phenomenon is still under debate and scrutiny. However, on the other hand, LSLAs have been dissected from a variety of angles during the last decade. The quality and amount of available information increased, and the existing literature highlighted some clear features and regularities in the maze of elements related to LSLAs. …



[1] The GRAIN Report can be accessed from (Last access 23/Nov/2017)