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Justice and sustainability: resistance and innovation in a transnational land deal in Ghana

This paper examines the case of a Nordic appropriation of land through a lease agreement with chiefs in southern Ghana, initially for biofuel production and then for large-scale, mechanized food production.The production shift triggered resistance over loss of land and environmental impact, and threatened to destabilize the project.This enticed the company to innovate through improving cooperation and offering compensation to individuals who lost land. While such steps to social innovation helped secure “operational peace”, they appeared inadequate to properly resolving land conflicts and address labour rights, gender and environmental concerns.Therefore, this Nordic venture in biofuel and food production in southern Ghana exhibits some pitfalls of unjust land appropriation as well as first steps towards innovation.