GLOBAL – In the past decade, significant international attention focused on “land grabs” in developing countries by companies and corporations eager for land to grow food and procure resources for the world’s growing population. Tens of millions of acres of land in Africa, Asia, and Latin America were acquired by international companies and investors, sometimes creating the potential for economic development, but in many cases displacing local communities and causing economic and social dislocation.
As time has passed, however, it has become clear that there is a second part of this land grab phenomenon: what amounts to a “land fumble.” In many countries, investments have failed, been abandoned or greatly delayed, or have shrunk significantly. Having been awarded vast tracts of land by governments, many companies are now returning or abandoning some or all of these vast swaths of territory.
In Myanmar, Landesa is working with the government to secure an additional 2-3 million acres of unused land for return, formalization, and allocation to the landless.