Panel 2 of the briefing focused on the recent massive increase in global commercial interest in land and natural resources and on the unprecedented pressures this is creating on land resources and land tenure systems.

Lorenzo Cotula from IIED stressed the surge of investment flows to sub-Saharan Africa notably in the agri-food sector, driven by commodities demand and enabling policy reforms.

From his part Paul Mathieu from FAO pointed out that climate change and carbon trading, production of biofuels, sovereign funds investment to produce food to be exported combine their effects to put new pressures and demands on land worldwide.


In order to better understand trends and drivers, FAO, IFAD and IIED are undertaking a study on land tenure and contractual arrangements, impacts on land access for rural people in recipient countries – with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. IIED is also participating in World Bank-led research to examine these issues in 30 countries worldwide. Both studies are still at an early stage.