Publications

Large scale land acquisitions and REDD+: a synthesis of conflicts and opportunities

Carter, Sarah; Manceur, Ameur M.; Seppelt, Ralf; Hermans, Kathleen; Herold, Martin; Verchot, Louis V.

Summary

Large scale land acquisitions (LSLA), and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) are both land based phenomena which when occurring in the same area, can compete with each other for land. A quantitative analysis of country characteristics revealed that land available for agriculture, accessibility, and political stability are key explanatory factors for a country being targeted for LSLA. Surprisingly LSLA occur in countries with lower accessibility. Countries with good land availability, poor accessibility and political stability may become future targets if they do not already have LSLA. Countries which high levels of agriculture-driven deforestation and LSLA, should develop interventions which reduce forest loss driven either directly or indirectly by LSLA as part of their REDD+ strategies. Both host country and investor-side policies have been identified which could be used more widely to reduce conflicts between LSLA and REDD+. Findings from this research highlight the need for and can inform the development of national and international policies on land acquisitions including green acquisitions such as REDD+. Land management must be considered with all its objectivesincluding food security, biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigationin a coherent strategy which engages relevant stakeholders. This is not currently occurring and might be a key ingredient to achieve the targets under the Sustainable Development Goals 2 and 15 and 16 (related to food security and sustainable agriculture and the protection of forests) among others.