Highly publicised large-scale land deals for biofuels are raising prospects for macro-level benefits in recipient countries, but also carry the threat of appropriation of land and natural resources from the poor local people who depend on these assets. This paper examines the extent to which local people are party to land allocation processes, considering both the procedural issues of consultation and consent, and the distributive issues around compensation. Current evidence is that local people's capacity to bargain or give free consent to investments is limited by their lack of access to economic and institutional alternatives. While host governments may offer policy support to local rights and claims, government agencies tend to align with the interests of large-scale investors when tested in real negotiations.
Journal of Peasant Studies (2010) 37 (4) 899-916 [DOI: 10.1080/03066150.2010.512463]