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Last updated:

April 8, 2022

Duration:

Unlimited Duration

FREE

This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration

Description

This course, 'Land grab': an environmental issue? explores how environmental problems are entangled with economic and political issues and offers tools for making sense of the complexity that results. The case of land grab illustrates how everyday issues such as food prices are caught up in connections that link different places, different people and their livelihoods across the globe; connections that are brought to life in the course through rich audio-visual material and interactive activities.

Introduction

The issue of wealthy investors taking control of land farmed by poor farmers clearly has political and economic implications. It is also an issue of justice. It is, perhaps, less obvious how it is an environmental issue. But, as you will discover, some of the main forces driving up farmland prices are tied to environmental challenges such as climate change, food insecurity, water shortages and the wish to diversify energy sources away from fossil fuels to biofuels. Land acquisition, or ‘land grab’ as it is often called, offers important lessons about the way that environmental problems are entangled with economic and political issues at an increasingly global scale. The issue illustrates how everyday issues such as food prices are caught up in complex connections that link different places, different people and their livelihoods across the globe. This free course, ‘Land grab’: an environmental issue? aims firstly to explore the ways in which land acquisition, or ‘land grab’ should be understood as environmental issues. Secondly, the readings, films, and activities will help you to evaluate the land acquisition/land grab debate. More specifically, you will:
  1. explore the relationship between land acquisition, access to food and broader processes in the global economy
  2. consider the relationship between economic uncertainty and environmental change
  3. examine how social groups may respond to environmental change and uncertainty
  4. appreciate how analytical concepts can be useful in making sense of the complexity of environmental issues; in this case the issues of right to land and food prices.

Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:
  • Understand why land acquisition can be considered an environmental issue and the particular environmental challenges that it presents
  • Recognize the need for an interdisciplinary approach to interpret and explain environmental issues
  • Discuss the relationship between economic uncertainty and environmental change
  • Appreciate the work that analytical concepts can do to make sense of complex environmental issues such as the issues of rights to land and food prices.

Course Curriculum

    • Analytical concepts used in this course 00:30:00
    • Securing food, sharing land 01:00:00
    • The global demand for agricultural land 01:00:00
    • Land acquisitions in Africa 00:30:00
    • Senegal and land acquisition/land grab 01:00:00
    • Power, agency and property rights 00:30:00
    • Pressures on the land 01:00:00
    • Discourses and land grabs 00:30:00
    • Land acquisition or land grab? 01:00:00
    • Conclusion 00:20:00
    • ‘Land grab’: an environmental issue? Test 00:40:00

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Open University UK