Special Issue "Migration and Land"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Mariel Aguilar-Støen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Center for Development and Environment, University of Oslo, Postboks 1116 Blindern, 0317 OSLO, Norway
Interests: migration; REDD; land use change; environmental governance in Latin America
Dr. Lindsey Carte
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Núcleo de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, Universidad de la Frontera, Temuco 4780000, Chile
Interests: migration; migrant-sending communities; land tenure; feminist geography; Latin America
Dr. Claudia A. Radel
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environment & Society, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322-5215, USA
Interests: gender and agrarian change, conservation, and natural resource management & assets; migration and land-use change; smallholder livelihood dynamics.
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Birgit Schmook
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biodiversity Conservation, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR) Chetumal, Chetumal 77014, Mexico
Interests: smallholder livelihoods; migration; conservation; land use change; Mesoamerica

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Migration and land processes have numerous connections. Migration involves different origins and destinations, can be rural or urban, national or international, and can consist of different groups of peoples moving for different reasons and over different timespans. This diversity results in complex and uneven land–migration coupling mediated by social, political, and economic conditions. This Special Issue aims to bring together work at the land–migration interface with conceptual contributions, case studies from around the world, and new insights to enhance the understanding of land–migration relationships.

We invite papers focusing on, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • migration resulting in land use and land cover changes in origin or destination locations;
  • displacement from land or land-based resources leading to migration;
  • land transitions or consolidations that precipitate either in- or out-migration;
  • amenity migration and land change;
  • intersections of migration with land tenure, land governance, and environmental conflicts;
  • land system telecoupling through migration and remittance flows;
  • conditions enabling shared spaces in the context of migration;
  • south–south migration and its distinct relationships to land;
  • how gendered migration relates to land and land change.

Dr. Mariel Aguilar-Støen
Dr. Lindsey Carte
Dr. Claudia A. Radel
Dr. Birgit Schmook
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • land acquisition
  • land tenure
  • land use change
  • migrant livelihoods
  • migration landscapes
  • migration telecoupling
  • mobility/immobility
  • remittance use

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Article
Expanding Exotic Forest Plantations and Declining Rural Populations in La Araucanía, Chile
Land 2021, 10(3), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10030283 - 10 Mar 2021
Viewed by 621
Abstract
Chile has embraced the expansion of monoculture forest plantations of exotic Monterey pine and eucalyptus as part of its development strategy. While forestry is considered financially successful and meets sustainability objectives, the increase in forest plantations across southern Chile has received harsh critiques [...] Read more.
Chile has embraced the expansion of monoculture forest plantations of exotic Monterey pine and eucalyptus as part of its development strategy. While forestry is considered financially successful and meets sustainability objectives, the increase in forest plantations across southern Chile has received harsh critiques for exacerbating conflict over Indigenous land rights, producing negative environmental outcomes, and increasing poverty and inequality. There are also claims that forest plantation expansion has led to an abandonment of the countryside. Migration is viewed as a result of the socioeconomic challenges that forest plantations produce at the local level; however, the linkages have not been explored. We examine the linkages between forest plantations and migration through two questions: Is there a relationship between forest plantation cover change and out-migration from rural areas? If so, what are the factors that explain this process? We use a difference-in-differences method analyzing panel data from the Chilean census and from CONAF, the Chilean National Forest Corporation, complemented by interviews, mapping workshops, and focus groups to answer these questions. Results indicate a statistically significant relationship between expanding forest plantations and population decline in rural areas. Qualitative data show that this expansion led to displacement of residents, declines in employment opportunities, and agriculture difficulties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migration and Land)
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Article
Reversing Channels and Unsettling Binaries: Rethinking Migration and Agrarian Change under Expanded Border and Immigration Enforcement
Land 2021, 10(3), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10030228 - 24 Feb 2021
Viewed by 613
Abstract
Unauthorized migration under global regimes of border and immigration enforcement has become more risky and costly than ever. Despite the increasing challenges of reaching, remaining in, and remitting from destination countries, scholarship exploring the implications of migration for agricultural and environmental change in [...] Read more.
Unauthorized migration under global regimes of border and immigration enforcement has become more risky and costly than ever. Despite the increasing challenges of reaching, remaining in, and remitting from destination countries, scholarship exploring the implications of migration for agricultural and environmental change in migrant-sending regions has largely overlooked the prevalent experiences and consequences of “failed” migration. Drawing from recent fieldwork in Central America with deportees, this paper demonstrates how contemporary migration at times reverses the “channels” of agrarian change in migrant-sending regions: instead of driving remittance inflow and labor loss, migration under contemporary enforcement can result in debt and asset dispossession, increased vulnerability, and heightened labor exploitation. Diverse migration outcomes under expanded enforcement also reveal a need to move beyond the analytical binary that emphasizes differentiations between migrant and non-migrant groups while overlooking the profound socioeconomic unevenness experienced among migrants themselves. With grounding in critical agrarian studies, feminist geographies, and emerging political ecologies of migration, this paper argues that increased attention to the highly dynamic and diverse lived experiences of migration under expanded enforcement stands to enhance our understanding of the multiple ways in which contemporary out-migration shapes livelihoods and landscapes in migrant-sending regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migration and Land)
Article
Those Who “Don’t Move” Dynamics of Mobility at Two Crossing Points on the Guatemala-Mexico Borderland, from the Experience of Workers Who Vitalize the Region
Land 2021, 10(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10010019 - 29 Dec 2020
Viewed by 590
Abstract
Drawing on qualitative research carried out in 2018 at two crossing points at the Guatemala-Mexico border, I focus my attention on individuals enabling movement and border crossing. These include money changers (cambistas or cambiadores), so-called tricyclists (tricilceros, people whose [...] Read more.
Drawing on qualitative research carried out in 2018 at two crossing points at the Guatemala-Mexico border, I focus my attention on individuals enabling movement and border crossing. These include money changers (cambistas or cambiadores), so-called tricyclists (tricilceros, people whose activity facilitates the transport of merchandise), motorcycle taxi drivers (locally called tuk tuks), rafters (balseros o camareros, in charge of the rafts that cross the border river), and, in general, people directly linked to movements in the region and across the border. Local actors like them, often overlooked, are the cogs that allow one side of the border to be connected to the other. Mobility and this specific space are affected by their imprint, their actions, and by the way they relate to their environment. Their aim is to be able to remain and protect their livelihood; in order to be able to not move, they allow movement across the border, shaping mobility, and also immobility, in the borderland. They are key actors in the construction of the border dynamic, mobility, and the space surrounding the line that divides both countries geopolitically. Although they play a role in the construction of (im)mobility of this space, they are subjects whose lives, destinies, and opportunities are intimately linked to the interactions and dynamics that take place there. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migration and Land)
Communication
Agri-Food Land Transformations and Immigrant Farm Workers in Peri-Urban Areas of Spain and the Mediterranean
Land 2020, 9(12), 472; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9120472 - 24 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 709
Abstract
Spain is a global hotspot of transformations of agri-food land systems due to changing production intensity, diets, urbanization, market integration, and climate change. Characteristic of the Mediterranean, these expanding intersections with the migration, livelihoods, and food security strategies of immigrant farm workers urge [...] Read more.
Spain is a global hotspot of transformations of agri-food land systems due to changing production intensity, diets, urbanization, market integration, and climate change. Characteristic of the Mediterranean, these expanding intersections with the migration, livelihoods, and food security strategies of immigrant farm workers urge new research into the “who,” “how,” and “why” questions of the transformation of agri-food land systems. Addressing this gap, we communicate preliminary results from field research in the Granada and Madrid areas. We use a novel conceptual framework of linkages among distinct agri-food land systems and the roles and agency of immigrant farm workers. Preliminary results integrating a combined land- and labor-centric approach address: (1) how the recent and ongoing transformations of specific agri-food land systems are indicative of close links to inexpensive, flexible labor of immigrant farm workers; (2) how the connectivity among transformations of multiple distinct agri-food land systems can be related to the geographic mobility of immigrant farm workers and livelihoods (non-farm work, gendered employment, peri-urban residential location, labor recruitment); and (3) how the struggles for food and nutrition security among immigrant farm workers are indicative of links to local sites and networked agrobiodiversity. This study can help advance the nexus of migration-land research with expanding ethical, justice, and policy concerns of land system sciences in relation to the new suite of agri-food interest and initiatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migration and Land)
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Article
Urban Land Regulation and Heterogeneity of Housing Conditions of Inter-Provincial Migrants in China
Land 2020, 9(11), 428; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110428 - 02 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 713
Abstract
The relation between urban land regulation and migrants’ access to decent housing is a fascinating topic in developing countries. Land-use conflicts emerge when entrepreneurial pursuits (for example, the exchange value of land) affect the fortunes of low-wage migrant workers using the destination city [...] Read more.
The relation between urban land regulation and migrants’ access to decent housing is a fascinating topic in developing countries. Land-use conflicts emerge when entrepreneurial pursuits (for example, the exchange value of land) affect the fortunes of low-wage migrant workers using the destination city to settle down (through the use value of land). Land-use disputes and housing opportunity inequality (between the “land scarcity with migrant explosion” areas and the “land-abundant but migration-inactive” areas) is apparent across different kinds of cities. This article reviews the relationship between China’s urban land supply and regulation system and the migrant housing-condition problem. Our spatial analysis attests to the areal variance of migrant housing conditions (overcrowding and shortages of basic amenities such as toilet and kitchen facilities) across 301 Chinese cities. The analysis results explain the relationship between the inferior housing conditions in the coastal metropolises and the strict management of land uses in China’s first-tier cities. Using micro household data from the national 1% population sampling survey (National Bureau of Statistics of China, 2015), this research provides a vivid case study at a large national scale to compare migrant housing amenity across different cities. This empirical study can advance understanding of the land-use disputes (exchange value vs. use value of urban land), which are an important structural root of housing inequality among different kinds of host cities (not merely among migrant workers themselves or across neighborhood scales). This macro-level variance of land demand, supply, and the regulation system proves the key challenge to achieving social harmony. Beyond a top-down land and housing system in China today, some more bottom-up and participatory migrant housing supply means (such as informal housing schemes such as “urban villages”) could be another way to address the above housing challenge. In this sense, we have mapped the migrants’ housing conditions in the Chinese top-down and marketization context, which can be contrasted with the informal and participatory housing supply in some other country contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migration and Land)
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Article
What Factors Influence Rural-To-Urban Migrant Peasants to Rent out Their Household Farmland? Evidence from China’s Pearl River Delta
Land 2020, 9(11), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110418 - 29 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 672
Abstract
With the accommodative policy and rapid urbanization in China, large-scale migration of rural-to-urban peasants seeking nonagricultural employment has occurred. This has led to farmland rental, which is considered an effective means of land arrangement. Multiple variables were selected to examine the influencing factors [...] Read more.
With the accommodative policy and rapid urbanization in China, large-scale migration of rural-to-urban peasants seeking nonagricultural employment has occurred. This has led to farmland rental, which is considered an effective means of land arrangement. Multiple variables were selected to examine the influencing factors of land rental for rural–urban peasants in China by using survey data collected in six core cities of the Pearl River Delta and a logistic regression model. This study revealed that benefits, household members, and urban living conditions and urban integration are factors that affect land rental. According to the results, improvements in working conditions, urban social insurance and urban integration, annual gross household income, and secure land ownership can promote land rental, whereas stronger hometown connections and parenting inhibit land rental. Women and youth excluded from China’s previous land allocation hold complex attitudes toward land rental, with age and sex statistically significant variables affecting land rental. We underscore the influence of family members and urban living conditions for land rental, which were ignored in earlier studies, to provide suggestions for future policy development, with an emphasis on the land rental market and redistribution of idle land. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migration and Land)
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Article
Youth and the Future of Community Forestry
Land 2020, 9(11), 406; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110406 - 24 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 902
Abstract
Forests managed by Indigenous and other local communities generate important benefits for livelihood, and contribute to regional and global biodiversity and carbon sequestration goals. Yet, challenges to community forestry remain. Rural out-migration, for one, can make it hard for communities to maintain broad [...] Read more.
Forests managed by Indigenous and other local communities generate important benefits for livelihood, and contribute to regional and global biodiversity and carbon sequestration goals. Yet, challenges to community forestry remain. Rural out-migration, for one, can make it hard for communities to maintain broad and diverse memberships invested in local forest commons. This includes young people, who can contribute critical energy, ideas, and skills and are well positioned to take up community forest governance and work, but often aspire to alternative livelihoods and lifestyles. Through an initiative called the Future of Forest Work and Communities, we sought to connect researchers and practitioners with young people living in forest regions, and explore whether community forestry is, or could be, a viable option for them in a globalising world. We achieved this through two phases of qualitative research: youth visioning workshops and questionnaires conducted in 14 forest communities and regions across 9 countries, and a more in-depth case study of two forest communities in Oaxaca, Mexico, using participant observation and semi-structured interviews. We found important synergies across sites. Youth held strong connections with their communities and local forests, but work and/or study aspirations meant many would likely leave their home communities (at least for a time). Community forestry was not seen as an obvious livelihood pathway by a majority of youth, although interest in forest work was evident through participation in several workshop activities. As community leadership and support organisations consider community forestry as an engine of local development, the research highlights the importance of engaging local youth to understand their interests and ideas, and thus identify practical and meaningful ways to empower them as community and territorial actors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migration and Land)
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Article
Migration, Remittances, and Forest Cover Change in Rural Guatemala and Chiapas, Mexico
Land 2020, 9(3), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9030088 - 17 Mar 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2373
Abstract
This article investigates how migration and remittances affect forest cover in eight rural communities in Guatemala and Chiapas, Mexico. Based on household surveys and remote sensing data, we found little evidence to support the widespread claim that migration takes pressure off forests. In [...] Read more.
This article investigates how migration and remittances affect forest cover in eight rural communities in Guatemala and Chiapas, Mexico. Based on household surveys and remote sensing data, we found little evidence to support the widespread claim that migration takes pressure off forests. In the Chiapas sites, we observed no significant changes in forest cover since 1990, while in the Guatemalan sites, migration may have increased demand for agricultural land, leading to an average annual forest loss of 0.73% during the first decade of the millennium. We suggest that when attractive opportunities exist to invest in agriculture and land expansion, remittances and returnee savings provide fresh capital that is likely to increase pressure on forests. Our study also has implications for the understanding of migration flows; in particular, migration has not implied an exodus out of agriculture for the remaining household members nor for the returning migrants. On the contrary, returning migrants are more likely to be involved in farming activities after their return than they were before leaving. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migration and Land)
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Commentary
Unraveling Causes and Consequences of International Retirement Migration to Coastal and Rural Areas in Mediterranean Europe
Land 2020, 9(11), 410; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110410 - 27 Oct 2020
Viewed by 711
Abstract
In a context of aging, low fertility, and progressive slowdown of both internal population mobility and international migration at working age, residential mobility at older ages was regarded as an emerging phenomenon in Mediterranean Europe, a region with increasingly attractive retirement places. The [...] Read more.
In a context of aging, low fertility, and progressive slowdown of both internal population mobility and international migration at working age, residential mobility at older ages was regarded as an emerging phenomenon in Mediterranean Europe, a region with increasingly attractive retirement places. The present work discusses the socioeconomic processes (and the environmental impacts) associated with an increasing flow of retirees, which decide to settle from ‘Northern’ countries to Southern Europe, concentrating in coastal districts and in rural countryside. Understanding lifestyle preferences and territorial patterns of residential mobility at older ages allows a refined analysis of short- and medium-term impacts of International Retirement Migration (IRM) on population dynamics in economically growing and declining regions. A refined analysis reveals that destinations of IRM are progressively enlarging from strictly coastal places to a broader set of locations in the rural countryside. Mobility choices among retirees may jeopardize the role of spatial planning, which is increasingly asked to provide specific services for an international, elder population, e.g., stimulating re-use of abandoned rural buildings. Taken as an effective option for rural development, an improved planning and management of local districts attracting and hosting intense flows of residential mobility at older ages is urgent in the present socioeconomic context. A convenient set of policies and a refined taxation system may contribute to reconcile demographic shrinkage with local competitiveness and social cohesion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migration and Land)
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