Tuesday, June 02, 2015

the global land-ownership network


kimnicholas |  Nearly two out of three countries in the world today participate in a new kind of “virtual land trade,” where not only the goods produced but land ownership itself is traded internationally. This was the finding of our new study, published 7 November 2014.

This phenomenon of large-scale global land acquisitions, sometimes called “land grabbing,” is receiving increasing international attention because of its potential to contribute to development and raise yields in developing countries, but amidst concerns about local land rights and livelihoods. 

We found that the land trading network is dominated by a few key players with many trading partners- led by China, which imports land ownership from 33 countries, closely followed by the UK and the US (Figure 1).

One-third of countries both import and export land ownership. Of the 80 countries that export land ownership, most export to only a handful of trading partners, with a third having just one import partner. On the other hand, Ethiopia exports land to 21 different countries, and the Philippines and Madagascar both export land to 18 countries. 

Geographically, countries in the global North primarily act as land importers, while the global South acts primarily as land exporters (Figure 2). There are four main areas that import land: North America, Western Europe, the Middle East, and developing economies in Asia. Southeast Asia is also an exporter of land, along with South America, Eastern Europe, and especially Africa. Many of the areas exporting land currently have low agricultural productivity, so have potential to boost yields with technological improvements.  Fist tap Arnach.