Ideas for Developing Asia and the Pacific

Call for Papers on Land Management in Asia: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals


Land Management in Asia: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals
Asian Development Bank Institute
10–11 December 2018

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed by the United Nations address global challenges ranging from poverty and inequality to clean energy, peace, and life on land, among others. In countries that allow private landownership, compulsory land acquisition is the right and action of the government to take property not owned by it for public use. Political upheaval transgressing from the industrialization drive through forcible land grab in many parts of Asia point to the need for a sustainable policy––a framework that results in a positive-sum game, benefitting landowners without hurting growth prospects.

The “land question” has invigorated agrarian studies and economic history for a long time. Recent studies argue that land trust or land lease is one of the best ways to increase the rate of return to invite private investors into infrastructure investment and industrialization. Although many Asian countries have implemented this concept, we are yet to fully explore existing and diverse institutional bottlenecks ranging from legal and social to political and even environmental. For instance, the availability of land for resettlement may prove to be an impediment to implementing land trust in a region already facing external pressures. Moreover, empirical evidence on the assessment of tangible and intangible assets during land transfer is scant.

The Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) will organize a research workshop on land management in Asia on 10–11 December 2018 to gain further insights on achieving the SDGs. The workshop will address goal 8 (decent work and economic growth), goal 10 (reduced inequalities), goal 11 (sustainable cities and communities), and goal 15 (life on land). ADBI invites submissions of unpublished papers that focus on the following topics (including a group of countries or individual economies):

  • Beyond land trust: The social, political, and legal impediments to implementing land trust and the feasibility of an alternative framework or institution
  • Empirical evidence on private land ownership and individual well-being in Asia
  • Alternative ways of understanding losses to landowners during compulsory land acquisition (such as by using Sen’s Capability Approach)
  • Mechanisms for sharing gains from infrastructure projects involving public–private partnerships between the private sector, affected landowners, and society
  • Assessment of tangible and intangible losses for affected landowners during compulsory acquisition


ADBI will cover registration, flight, and hotel costs for one presenter of every accepted paper. Presenters must be a citizen of an ADB member country. Papers presented at the conference will be considered for publication as ADBI working papers and as chapters in a book after peer review.

Important dates

  • Deadline for submission of abstracts/draft papers: 10 November 2018
  • Deadline for submission of completed papers: 26 November 2018
  • Workshop date: 10–11 December 2018


Abstracts (300 words) must be submitted no later than 10 November 2018 as a Word document containing a title, name, and affiliation of the author(s), contact information, and appropriate fields (JEL classifications). A full draft paper should be submitted by 26 November 2018.

Submissions with brief author bios (including key and/or relevant publications, if any) should be e-mailed to [email protected].