‘Land grab’: an environmental issue?
‘Land grab’: an environmental issue?

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

'Land grab': an environmental issue?


The issue of wealthy investors taking control over 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.

This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course DST206 Environment: sharing a dynamic planet [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371