The 9th Brussels Development Briefing took place on 25th February 2009 in Brussels (Centre Borschette, European Commission) on “Land access and rural development: New challenges, new opportunities” and discussed the links between property rights, investment and the generation of economic opportunities in rural areas. It explored the correlation between inequality in the distribution of land and economic growth. It also discussed the new challenges of global commercial interest in land and natural resources and the issue of rich countries buying millions of hectares of agricultural land in ACP countries. .
New! on the subject of ‘Land Access and rural development’
Secretary General of the ACP Group, Director of DG Development, Director of CTA
Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food
Panel 1: Land tenure and rural development: key issues
This session discussed the links between property rights, investment and the generation of economic opportunities in rural areas. It looked at the correlation between inequality in the distribution of land and economic growth, improved livelihoods and food security. A diverse array of approaches to strengthening land rights is now emerging, from which stem valuable lessons to be shared between governments, civil society groups and land professionals.
Chair: H.E. Mr Ibrahim Bocar Ba, Ambassador of Mali to the European Union
– Land policies, a prerequisite for sound agricultural policies
Lionel Vignacq, Head, State Modernisation and Local Governance, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, France [executive summary|presentation]
Panel 2: Agricultural land: new challenges in a globalised world
Recent global trends are prompting a massive increase in global commercial interest in land and natural ressources. In the context of liberalised trade and property laws in many countries, this is creating unprecedented pressures on land ressources and placing new tensions on land tenure systems. However, could those investments constitute an opportunity in some ACP countries where agriculture needs to be revitalized?
Chair: Dr Wilson A. Sunga, Agriculture Secretary, Kenya
– Large-scale land acquisitions for agricultural investment: trends and issues
Lorenzo Cotula, Senior Researcher – Law and Sustainable Development, Natural Resources, International Institute for Environment and Development, IIED, United Kingdom [executive summary|presentation]
– Large-scale land acquisition: implications for governments and investors, risks and opportunities for smallholder farmers
Paul Mathieu, Land Tenure Senior Officer, Land Tenure and Management unit, Land and Water Division, FAO [executive summary|presentation]
– Perspective from farmer’s organizations on land acquisition for agricultural production
Philip Kiriro, President, Eastern African Farmers Federation, Kenya [executive summary] and Marius Dia, Coordinator ROPPA (Senegal)
– Michael Taylor (International Land Coalition)
– Cécile Broutin (GRET)
– Dr Hansjörg Neun (CTA).