According to an analysis of the Land Matrix database,
Peru is the country most heavily affected by land grabs
, defined as the buying, leasing or concession land use for commercial purposes by companies from abroad, affecting land that had previously been used communally, by small-scale shareholders or was natural environment.
Since the year 2000, deals for the purchase or use of more than 16 million hectares of land have been closed in Peru, affecting approximately 12 percent of the country’s landmass. Foreign investors are prevalent in Peru because of the country’s mining boom, with stakeholders from Canada, the U.S. and China, among others, extracting different metals like silver and copper. Another sleuth of companies bought or leased land in connection to oil drilling and other energy related uses.
Russia also has a lot of foreign landowners and user converting areas for large scale commercial projects. While land deals encompass almost 9 million hectares, this only makes up 0.5 percent of the country’s overall landmass. Gabon and the Republic of the Congo were two countries with a larger percentage of their total area affected by land grabs. Generally, many African countries are listed in the land grab database, with several of them affected in large portions of their territories.