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Article

Forests to the Foreigners: Large-Scale Land Acquisitions in Gabon

1
Global and International Studies, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel by Drive, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada
2
College of Public Policy, HBKU, Education City, Doha 34110, Qatar
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Charlie Shackleton
Land 2021, 10(4), 420; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040420
Received: 12 March 2021 / Revised: 1 April 2021 / Accepted: 12 April 2021 / Published: 15 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Rush in Africa)
For the past decade, the land rush discourse has analyzed foreign investment in land and agriculture around the world, with Africa being a continent of particular focus due to the scale of acquisitions that have taken place. Gabon, a largely forested state in Central Africa, has been neglected in the land rush conversations, despite having over half of its land allocated to forestry, agriculture, and mining concessions. This paper draws on existing evidence and contributes new empirical data through expert interviews to fill this critical knowledge gap. We situate Gabon’s historic relationship with land, establishing the intrinsic relationship between colonial land tenure systems and present-day land rights. Our findings analyze the macro context of investors and investments, as well as the impacts related to rural–urban linkages and infrastructure development into the forests, civil society, human–environment relationships, and certification programs. While challenges continue to be experienced, the promise of Gabon’s first national land use plan—the use of sustainable concessions and mandatory forestry certification—offers a unique opportunity for Gabon to transition towards a future that better benefits its population while also protecting its natural resources. View Full-Text
Keywords: Gabon; Africa; forests; Congo Basin; land rush; land grabbing; large-scale land acquisitions Gabon; Africa; forests; Congo Basin; land rush; land grabbing; large-scale land acquisitions
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MDPI and ACS Style

Legault, D.D.; Cochrane, L. Forests to the Foreigners: Large-Scale Land Acquisitions in Gabon. Land 2021, 10, 420. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040420

AMA Style

Legault DD, Cochrane L. Forests to the Foreigners: Large-Scale Land Acquisitions in Gabon. Land. 2021; 10(4):420. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040420

Chicago/Turabian Style

Legault, Danielle D., and Logan Cochrane. 2021. "Forests to the Foreigners: Large-Scale Land Acquisitions in Gabon" Land 10, no. 4: 420. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040420

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