Land Matrix

large scale land acquisitions

The Land Matrix Initiative is a global and independent initiative monitoring land deals in the global South. Its goal is to facilitate an open development community of citizens, researchers, policymakers, and technology specialists to promote transparency and accountability in decisions on large-scale land acquisitions. As an open tool, the Land Matrix Initiative’s database allows wide participation in constantly upgrading, correcting, and improving the information it contains.

Initiated in 2012, the project is a partnership between CDE, CIRAD (France), GIGA (Germany), the International Land Coalition (ILC), University of Pretoria (South Africa) and GIZ (Germany). Since 2014, five regional partners have also joined. The Land Matrix is partly financed by internal resources of the partners organisations. Donors currently include the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the European Commission (administered through Expertise France).

All the data, attractive visual presentations, newsletters, and much more can be accessed via the Land Matrix website:


The Land Matrix and the data it has collected have already been widely used and circulated among policymakers, the media, and researchers. In the second half of 2013, more than 98 articles in 27 countries cited the Land Matrix database; including articles in renowned publications such as The Economist, The Guardian, the Financial Times, Handelsblatt, Spiegel, and Le Monde. According to Google Scholar entries (accessed on 21 Sept 2016), the analytical report “Transnational Land Deals for Agriculture in the Global South“, based on the Land Matrix database (Anseeuw et al., 2012), was cited 214 times in scientific papers and reports. These publications use Land Matrix data to describe key trends and patterns of large-scale land transactions, and contribute to better knowledge about the scale and impacts of the land acquisition phenomenon.

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