Development or Land Grabbing? What legal challenges face us in light of the 21st century Global Land Rush?

The 2013 Conference considered environmental law through a tenurial paradigm, with particular focus upon land usage in the context of agriculture or forestation.

Conference Summary 

The morning session opened with a panel discussing the general principles of land grabbing lead by Sylvia Kay, Project Officer at the Transnational Institute, Fred Pearce, Author and Journalist, and Dr Reinier de Man, Owner and Director of Sustainable Business Development. 

After a coffee break, Professor Surya Subedi, OBE, QC (Hon) Professor of International Law at the University of Leeds and Barrister at Three Stone Chambers, London, welcomed us back with a keynote speech regarding the principles and policies of international investment law. 

Dr Liz Alden Wily, specialised in land tenure issues and currently associated with the Van Vollenhoven Institute at the Leiden School of Law, later delivered a keynote speech on the matter of the African Continent and its ‘Facts, Fictions and Fears’. Following this, Dr Lorenzo Cotula, Principal Researcher in Law & Sustainable Development at the International Institute for Environment and Development), added to the debate with his keynote speech about land deals in Africa and their contracts.

Subsequently, two workshops discussing (1) Forest policy & land rights with Mattia Fosci, Doctoral Researcher at the University of Nottingham, and Feja Lesniewska, Research Lead at Client Earth, and (2)  the large-scale agriculture expansion & responses in customary law with Teresa Anderson and Carine Nadal, both from the Gaia Foundation were held.

After a brief recess, the last panel took place, chaired by Stephen Hockman QC, Barrister at Six Pump Court, on the topic of land-grab, finding practical solutions, legal reform and local action with Sue Willman, Partner at Deighton Pierce Glynn, Dr Julian Quan from the Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich,  Dr Wybe Douma, Senior Researcher T.M.C. Asser Institute for International and EU Law, and Ruth Kelly from Oxfam. 

Our Thanks

We wish to thank the speakers who gave up their time to make the 2013 Conference such a success.

We should also like to thank the following organisations who offered financial assistance:

Field Environmental
UKELA
Living Space Project
Gaia Foundation

Our Committee

The 2013 Conference was organised and run by the following individuals:

Jon Faulkner – Chair & Treasurer
Rachel Haworth – Secretary
Harry Campbell – Treasurer
Julia Christian – Speakers Co-ordinators
Yulia Spytska – Speakers Co-ordinators
Ted Okoroji – Speakers Co-ordinators
Michael Lagan – Publicity 
George Blacksell – Publicity 
Jeevesh Augnoo – Publicity 
Regina Coleva – Publicity
Fredrico Esu – Publicity 
Laurence Wong – Fundraising
Larissa Boratti – Fundraising
Birsha Ohdedar – Communications & IT
Kim Bouwer – Diversity & Sustainability
Tom Cripps – Diversity & Sustainability

If you are interested to learn more about the 2013 Conference the please visit our Contact Us page and get in touch as we may be able to provide you with more information.