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What is Land Grabbing?

A critical review of existing definitions.

Land grabbing is a serious issue that affects the environment, economy, social welfare and human rights. Despite the global reach of land grabbing, there is no definition that fully captures the issue. Here, Eco Ruralis presents not only its complete definitional framework, but also an overview of other definitions and ideas, drawing attention to their gaps and weaknesses in order to show what work must still be done and how Eco Ruralis’ definition can be useful.

This paper begins by explaining Eco Ruralis’ criteria for what can be considered a land grab, and gives a comprehensive definition. The rest of the paper contains the different definitions or ideas of land grabbing from various sectors of society: civil society, governments, corporations and financial institutions. 

While recognizing the important contributions of academia towards defining land grabbing, academic definitions are not discussed here, as they are extremely diverse. Doing justice to the wide range of definitions in use within academia is thus simply impossible within the scope of this paper. In addition to the discussion of definitions, text boxes are provided throughout that have important supplementary information on how land grabbing is a systemic problem that needs to be addressed at all levels. The last section provides a list of more resources and further readings on land grabbing, and there are footnotes throughout that reference specific points.

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Publisher: Eco Ruralis
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Author: Katelyn Baker-Smith
Other authors: Szocs-Boruss Miklos-Attila
Organization: Eco Ruralis
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Year: 2016
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Country/ies: Romania
Geographical coverage: European Union (European Union)
Type: Report
Content language: English
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