African Journal of
Environmental Science and Technology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Environ. Sci. Technol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0786
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJEST
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 883


Evaluating the environmental law and energy policy dimensions of land-grabbing

Semie Memuna Sama
  • Semie Memuna Sama
  • University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 29 June 2016
  •  Accepted: 11 June 2017
  •  Published: 31 August 2017


This article seeks to investigate whether concern for food security and investment liberalization are the principle drivers of land-grabbing in Africa. The investigation demonstrates that, in addition to food security concern, climate change and energy security considerations have been key catalysts arousing hunger for farmland, forests, and fisheries resources in Africa. In particular, certain provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament have rendered tree planting, agro-biofuel cultivation, and forest conservation attractive investments in Tanzania and Uganda. This finding challenges the prevailing discourse that links land-grabbing, solely, to global demand for food and the liberalization of investment. The recommendation from this outcome is that African governments must not always embrace reforestation and forest conservation projects as technologies to fight climate change and protect biological diversity, given their potential to undermine the rights and opportunities of local people to meet their basic human needs. The governments of Tanzania and Uganda should rather embark on legislative and policy measures to protect the rights of indigenous peoples and local community members, while striving to combat climate change and achieve environmental sustainability.


Key words: Land-grabbing, environmental laws, energy policies, Tanzania, Uganda.