The Land Matrix Initiative (LMI) is a global and independent initiative that monitors competition over land use in the Global South. Its goal is to facilitate an open development community of citizens, researchers, policy-makers, and technology specialists to promote transparency and accountability in decisions over land and large-scale land-based investment. The GIGA is a key partner in this initiative and hosts the Land Matrix Database. The first phase of the Land Matrix aimed at maintaining and improving the database. A focus was on the dynamics and impacts of large-scale land acquisitions.
* What is the global scale of large-scale land acquisitions?* What determines large-scale land acquisitions?* What are the impacts of large-scale land acquisitions?
The project addresses the serious lack of data on global land investments by providing the currently most comprehensive online database on such deals (the ["Land Matrix Global Observatory"](http://www.landmatrix.org/)). This information is demanded by a variety of actors: researchers, international and development organizations, NGOs, the media, and policymakers in host countries of such land deals. The research conducted within this project will directly feed into the Land Matrix database. It will improve the data quality and availability of this internationally acclaimed database on land acquisitions.
An improved version of the online Land Matrix database was re-launched in June 2013. It is currently the largest data set of its kind and generates wide public interest. The Land Matrix data shows that there is indeed a global trend toward land acquisitions, and that a large number of these projects are likely to materialise. However, implementation on the ground is slow and a huge number of projects fail. Accordingto the Land Matrix information, Africa is the most targeted continent and most target countries are characterised by weak land governance and high incidences of hunger. Furthermore, targeted areas are easily accessible, provide high yield gaps, and have considerable population densities. Most investorscome from comparativelywealthy countries, and countries that are net food importers. All in all, the data suggests that in a large number of cases there are trade-offs environmental and social goals.