Unethical and inimical practices in large-scale land acquisitions in west africa


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Timothy O. Williams
Director, Africa

Background on LSLAs in WA
Framework for analysis of LSLAs & impacts
Summary of unethical and inimical practices
Economic, social and environmental impacts
Factors responsible for negative practices
Strategies for improving integrity in LSLAs

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  • The idea is not to explain this diagram in detail but to point out the livelihoods, ecosystems and hydrological implications of FDIAL and the different impact trajectories.
  • Unethical and inimical practices in large-scale land acquisitions in west africa

    1. 1. www.iwmi.orgWater for a food-secure worldUnethical and inimical practices in large-scale land acquisitions in West AfricaTimothy O. WilliamsDirector, AfricaInternational Water Management Institute (IWMI)
    2. 2. www.iwmi.orgWater for a food-secure worldPresentation Outline• Background on LSLAs in WA• Framework for analysis of LSLAs & impacts• Summary of unethical and inimical practices• Economic, social and environmental impacts• Factors responsible for negative practices• Strategies for improving integrity in LSLAs
    3. 3. www.iwmi.orgWater for a food-secure worldBackground on LSLAs in WA• Ghana & Mali have in recent years recorded LSLAs for theproduction of biofuels and food crops. Three LSLAs in Ghanatotaling 126,200 ha and two in Mali totaling 140,000 ha werestudied.• Governments in the 2 countries view FDIAL as a way of infusingcapital, modern technology and infrastructure into their agriculturalsector to increase productivity.• In Ghana where 80% of the total land area is held under communalownership, customary land owners equally welcome FDIAL.• Questions remain about the transparency and accountability of landdeals.
    4. 4. www.iwmi.orgWater for a food-secure world• Questions also remain about lack of consideration ofwater dimensions of FDIAL. Specifically:- water requirements of crops planted on newlyacquired large tracts of land;- impacts of water use on ecosystem services;- impacts on water rights and livelihoods of existingland users.Background on LSLAs in WA (contd.)
    5. 5. www.iwmi.orgWater for a food-secure worldA framework for analysing SES (based on Ostrom 2009)
    6. 6. Current stateInfiltrationRunoffEvapotranspirationRainfall RainfallRunoffInfiltration IrrigationEvapotranspirationAltered state-Current water balance FDI water balanceGroundwaterreservesRelative Time (Years)5050More capture and use of blue water withgreen water management insufficientlyconsidered.Opportunistic reliance on greenwater useBaselineMosaic of small fields,diverse crops,rangeland and forestIntensive agriculture,Monocrops, intercropsBest casescenario (C)Worst casescenario (B)00HydrologicalLivelihoodsEcosystemsCurrent land use Land use under FDI in biofuel and food productionImproved ecosystemservices. Higher systemproductivity,environmental integrity.Greater resilience due toinvestment in land andwater managementBest casescenario (A)Worst casescenario (F)Improved ecosystemservices due tosustainable land andwater managementpracticesEcosystem serviceslinked to land andwater adequate butdegrading in someareasTippingpointContinuousdownwardspiralDegraded resource base,less bio-diversity.Reduced resilience andgreater vulnerability dueto unsustainable land andwater managementImprovingnatural resourcebase: Soils,water, biomassWorst casescenario (D)0Higher and stableincome due tosustainableintensification anddiversificationDisplacement of poor farmersdue to land acquisition withno recourse to wageemployment or contractfarmingHigher income from contractfarming & wage employment.Reclamation of degradedfarmland and opportunity forcultivation of intercropsLow natural, physical andfinancial capital assets, lowadoption of technology,vulnerability to weather andmarket risksBest casescenario (E)Lower income, negativelivelihood outcomes dueto depleted capitalassetsBest casescenario (G)Worst casescenario (H)Livelihoods,EcosystemsandHydrologicalimplicationsLow unstable incomedue to poortechnology adoptionand access to marketsLow but stableincome due totechnology adoptionand improved accessto marketsGroundwaterreservesHydrologicalLivelihoodsEcosystemsRelative Time (Years)Loss of ecosystemservices due to poorland and watermanagementIrrigation
    7. 7. Surveys and Reviews• Cohort groups surveyed: Investors, Regulatory agencies, Traditional Chiefsand Smallholder farmers;• Documents reviewed: Land lease agreements, Land and Water Policies,Environmental Impact Assessments1.2. Biophysical ModelingHydrology modelCrop water use modelMethodsComputed catchment water fluxes e.g. surfacerunoff and ground water recharge, that occuroutside conventional crop water use.Estimated crop water requirements and irrigationdemands of biofuel (LSLAs) and food crops (currentland use systems with smallholder farming) over agiven period of time.
    8. 8. www.iwmi.orgWater for a food-secure worldSummary of unethical and inimical practices: 1• Lack of consultation, transparency and accountability inland deals by governments and land-owning families.• By-passing of regulatory agencies by investors.
    9. 9. Government agencies that comeat a later stage into the landacquisition process1. Environmental Protection Agency2. Ghana Investment PromotionCentreGovernment agencies with relevantfunctions but usually excludedfrom the process of LSLA1. Water Resources Commission2. Ghana Irrigation Dev. Authority3. Ministry of Food and AgriculturePrimary actors/institutionsRegionalLandsCommissionTraditionalCouncilLandInvestorActors/Institutions typically involved in LSLAs in the studyareas in Ghana
    10. 10. www.iwmi.orgWater for a food-secure worldSummary of unethical and inimical practices: 2• Poor and inadequate EIAs and EMPs that are belowinternational standards.• Flouting of national legislation and operational rules in theuse and management of water by investors.• Underestimation of implications of LSLAs for:• crop water requirements;• impacts of water use on ecosystem services;• impacts on water rights and livelihoods of existingland users.
    11. 11. www.iwmi.orgWater for a food-secure worldSummary of unethical and inimical practices: 3• Narrowly defined contracts that focus solely on landleasehold.• Employment arrangements that fail to meet internationallabour standards.
    12. 12. www.iwmi.orgWater for a food-secure worldEconomic, social and environmentalconsequences• Displacement and involuntary loss of access to land andassociated water rights by poor land and water users.• Direct negative impacts on household food security andincomes of displaced poor people.• Lack of assessment of water requirements of crops plantedand implications for other uses and users.• Limited overall benefits to local communities fromproduction and processing activities associated with LSLAs.
    13. 13. www.iwmi.orgWater for a food-secure worldCauses of negative practices• Wealth, power and information asymmetries.• Multiple actors concurrently exercising rights under parallelsystems of land and water governance.• Ambiguous and outdated land and water statutes.• Poor policy coherence and coordination of activities ofregulatory agencies.• Poorly resourced and ineffective regulatory agencies.• Inability of poor land and water users to self-organize andlobby for their rights.
    14. 14. www.iwmi.orgWater for a food-secure worldStrategies for improving integrity• Alternative institutional arrangements that will allow FPICand coordination of cross-sectoral policies.• Legislative reforms to recognize the rights of existing landusers coupled with legal literacy campaigns.• Address poor funding and weak capacity of regulatoryagencies.• Adoption of internationally agreed voluntary guidelines forresponsible land-based investments in Africa.• Land deals are not considered as inevitable.
    15. 15. www.iwmi.orgWater for a food-secure worldDank u welMerci beaucoupThank you