Location: Bowdoin / Calendar

Land Grabs in Tanzania: the scramble over nature, food and fuel (Jen Jones)

  • 2/20/2013 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
  • Location: Adams Hall, Room 111 (Common Room)
  • Event Type: Lecture

Land Grabs in Tanzania: the scramble over nature, food and fuel (Jen Jones)Tanzania is rich in natural resources, from the Serengeti plains, to the lush forests of Kilimanjaro, and the mangroves & coral reefs of Zanzibar. This natural wealth has contributed to sustained economic growth over the past decade, yet it has not translated into better well-being for the majority of people. Evidence suggests the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Land grabs are one contributing factor to the uneven distribution of benefits. Large swaths of land are being captured by external actors and used for nature conservation, tourism & hunting, biofuel production, carbon credits, and export agriculture. As a result, local people are being displaced from ancestral lands and losing access to resources vital for their livelihoods.

What is driving the scramble for land in Tanzania and who are the winners and losers? What roles do foreign policy and notions of poverty alleviation play in shaping the development landscape? How are international actors, such as conservation BINGOs (Big International Nongovernmental Organizations), multilateral development agencies (i.e. World Bank), and private companies influencing land use change? How are communities navigating these challenges of neoliberal globalization for the 21st century?

Dr. Jennifer Jones is a political ecologist who uses a transdisciplinary approach to explore the relationships between people and other elements of nature. She is Program Director for the International Honors Program Beyond Globalization: Reclaiming Nature, Culture and Justice, and is a Visiting Associate Professor at the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability at Virginia Tech. Dr. Jones received her Ph.D. from the University of Pretoria.