No. 5: Conservation and "Land Grabbing" in Rangelands: Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?

This Issue Paper No.5 is part of the series Making Rangelands Secure, a learning initiative supported by ILC, IFAD, RECONCILE, IUCN-WISP and Procasur. The Making Rangelands Secure Initiative has been established by a group of organisations seeking to improve security of rights to rangelands. The initiative seeks to identify, communicate and build good practice on making rangelands secure for local rangeland users. 

Large-scale land acquisitions have increased in scale and pace due to changes in commodity markets, agricultural investment strategies, land prices, and a range of other policy and market forces. The areas most affected are the global “commons” – lands that local people traditionally use collectively — including much of the world’s forests, wetlands, and rangelands. In some cases land acquisition occurs with environmental objectives in sight – including the setting aside of land as protected areas for biodiversity conservation. On the other hand, current trends and patterns of commercial land acquisition present a major and growing threat not just to local livelihoods and human rights, but also to conservation objectives. There is a potential opportunity here for greater collaboration between conservation interests, and local communities’ land rights interests with their supporters amongst human rights and social justice movements. This Issue Paper documents experiences from the rangelands of Mongolia, Kenya, India, Ethiopia, and other countries, which were presented at a Conference on Conservation and Land Grabbing held in London in 2013.
Other Issue Papers in the Rangelands Series:
No. 1: Making rangelands secure: Past experience and future options
No. 2: Participatory rangeland resource mapping as a valuable tool for village land use planning in Tanzania
No. 3: Village land use planning in rangelands: Good practice and lessons learned
No. 4: Plotting progress: Integrated planning in the rangelands of Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda
No. 6: Pastoralists Do Plan! Community-led land use planning in the pastoral areas of Ethiopia