The global land rush: what the evidence reveals about scale and geography

In developing countries, millions of people depend on land for their food and livelihoods. But a global ‘land rush’ — moves to acquire large tracts of land across the world — is increasing competition for this vital resource. A growing body of evidence points to the scale, geography, players and key characteristics of the phenomenon. Some of this is based on media reports and some on country level inventories. Much of the data cannot be compared due to variations in methodology, timescale and the differing criteria for what makes a land deal. Further improving data and analysis is critical. But while exact numbers will keep changing, all evidence indicates that land acquisitions are happening quickly and on a large scale. So we urgently need to get on with developing appropriate responses.

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