Books  Sustainable Development  Agriculture & Food 

Green Grabbing: A New Appropriation of Nature

Series: Critical Agrarian Studies

By: James Fairhead (Editor), Melissa Leach (Editor), Ian Scoones (Editor)

393 pages, b/w illustrations, tables


Paperback | Jan 2015 | #217143 | ISBN-13: 9781138850521
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NHBS Price: £28.99 $36/€34 approx
Hardback | Apr 2013 | #217142 | ISBN-13: 9780415644075
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NHBS Special Offer Price: £78.99 £99.99 (Save £21.00) $98/€91 approx (ends 31/03/2017)

About this book

Across the world, ecosystems are for sale. 'Green grabbing' – the appropriation of land and resources for environmental ends – is an emerging process of deep and growing significance. A vigorous debate on 'land grabbing' already highlights instances where 'green' credentials are called upon to justify appropriations of land for food or fuel. Yet in other cases, environmental green agendas are the core drivers and goals of grabs. Green grabs may be drivn by biodiversity conservation, biocarbon sequestration, biofuels, ecosystem services or ecotourism, for example. In some cases theyse agendas involve the wholesale alienation of land, and in others the restructuring of rules and authority in the access, use and management of resources that may have profoundly alienating effects.

Green grabbing builds on well-known histories of colonial and neo-colonial resource alienation in the name of the environment. Yet it involves novel forms of valuation, commodification and markets for pieces and aspects of nature, and an extraordinary new range of actors and alliances. Green Grabbing draws together seventeen original cases from African, Asian and Latin American settings to ask: To what extent and in what ways do 'green grabs' constitute new forms of appropriation of nature? What political and discursive dynamics underpin 'green grabs'? How and when do appropriations on the ground emerge out of circulations of green capital? What are the implications for ecologies, landscapes and livelihoods? Who is gaining and who is losing? How are agrarian social relations, rights and authority being restructured, and in whose interests?

Green Grabbing was published as a special issue of the Journal of Peasant Studies.


1. Green Grabbing: A New Appropriation of Nature?
2. Enclosing the Global Gommons: The Convention on Biological Diversity and Green Grabbing
3. Green Grabs and Biochar: Revaluing African Soils and Farming in the New Carbon Economy
4. Green Multiculturalism: Articulations of Ethnic and Environmental Politics in a Colombian 'Black Community'
5. Conservation, Green/Blue Grabbing and Accumulation by Dispossession in Tanzania
6. Green Pretexts: Ecotourism, Neoliberal Conservation and Land Grabbing in Tayrona National Natural Park, Colombia
7. Tourism and the Politics of the Global Land Grab in Tanzania: Markets, Appropriation and Recognition
8. Marginal Lands: The Role of Remote Sensing in Constructing Landscapes for Agrofuel Development
9. Green Grabbing at the 'Pharm' Gate: Rosy Periwinkle Production in Southern Madagascar
10. Inverting the Impacts: Mining, Conservation and Sustainability Claims near the Rio Tinto/QMM Ilmenite Mine in Fort Dauphin, Southeast Madagascar
11. Taming the Jungle, Saving the Maya Forest: Sedimented Counterinsurgency Practices in Contemporary Guatemalan Conservation
12. Wild Property and its Boundaries: on Wildlife Policy and Rural Implications in South Africa
13. Trajectories of Land Acquisition and Enclosure: Development Schemes, Virtual Land Grabs, and Green Acquisitions in Indonesia's Outer Islands
14. The Potential Perils of Forest Carbon Contracts for Developing Countries: Cases from Africa
15. Ordenamento Territorial: Neo-developmentalism and the Struggle for Territory in the Lower Brazilian Amazon
16. Why Green Grabs Don't Work in Papua New Guinea

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James Fairhead is Chair in Social Anthropology at the University of Sussex and also chairs the Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth.

Melissa Leach is a Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex and Director of the ESRC STEPS (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre.

Ian Scoones is a Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex and co-directs the ESRC STEPS (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre.

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