Using geospatial data to identify land grabbing

  • The contemporary food system pushes agriculture to a globalized value-chain, affecting landscapes, resource access, and institutional arrangements. Institutions operating in Africa adopt development corridors to integrate multisector investments and induce export-driven primary sector, leading to massive land deals, also known as land-grabbing. Organizations struggle to monitor land deals accurately, lacking spatial precision and contextual information for affected communities. This research examines Mozambique's Nacala Corridor, using geospatial data as a tool to detect spatial (re)configurations due to exported-oriented policies and infrastructure. Data from land conflicts databases (Land Matrix and Environmental Justice) were analyzed with remote sensing Landsat and MODIS imagery using multiple indexes, an EVI time series, and the application of the LandTrendr algorithm. The results show that the temporal and spatial analysis of remote-sensing data is in line with the major political and economic dynamics of the region. Hotspots of land cover changes were detected in the same areas where land grabbing were reported; however, reported and detected land areas did not coincide. Temporal analysis showed that institutional changes played a greater role in triggering land use changes than infrastructure implementation. We conclude that land cover modifications, conflicts, and spatial development initiatives follows policies and institutional arrangements targeting international investments.

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Author:Ricardo Gellert ParisGND, Andreas RienowORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):European journal of remote sensing
Subtitle (English):detecting spatial reconfigurations during the implementation of the Nacala Development Corridor in Mozambique with remote sensing and land conflicts databases
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2024/02/29
Date of first Publication:2023/06/15
Publishing Institution:Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsbibliothek
Tag:Open Access Fonds
Africa; Land grabbing; development corridor; development policies; remote sensing
Issue:1, Article 2223751
First Page:2223751-1
Last Page:2223751-18
Article Processing Charge funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the Open Access Publication Fund of Ruhr-Universität Bochum.
Institutes/Facilities:Institut für Entwicklungsforschung und Entwicklungspolitik (IEE)
Geographisches Institut, Abteilung Interdisziplinäre Geoinformationswissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:Geschichte und Geografie / Geografie, Reisen
open_access (DINI-Set):open_access
faculties:Fakultät für Geowissenschaften
Licence (English):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY 4.0 - Attribution 4.0 International