Glossary

Below you will find a comprehensive list of indices in alphabetical order including a brief definition and the source of the data:


Arable land is based on data furnished by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). It includes land under temporary agricultural crops (multiple-cropped areas are counted only once), temporary meadows for mowing or pasture, land under market and kitchen gardens and land temporarily fallow (less than five years). The abandoned land resulting from shifting cultivation is not included in this category. Data are expressed as the number of hectares available per capita compared to the global median. Source: FAOSTAT


Biocapacity and ecological footprint data are based on the National Footprint Accounts 2015 (Public Data Package) from the Global Footprint Network. Source: Global Footprint Network


Corruption: The Corruption figure displayed in the chapter Comparison is the inverse of the Corruption Perception Index. The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is published by Transparency International and derived from expert assessments and opinion surveys. The CPI Score refers to the degree of corruption among public officials and politicians as perceived by business people and country analysts. The score ranges from 100 (highly clean) to 0 (highly corrupt). Source: Transparency International


Demand for land: The chapter “Demand for land” depicts land use based on different income levels. The income brackets are derived from historical gross world product (GWP) data from the World Bank. The GWP is the combined gross national product of every country in the world. The four Fs are land use categories (see below).


Ecological footprint and biocapacity data are based on the National Footprint Accounts 2015 (Public Data Package) from the Global Footprint Network (GFN). Source: Global Footprint Network


Food aid: The data are based on food aid (in actual tons) received by specific countries in 2012 from all reported donors as compiled by the World Food Programme (WFP). The following filters are applied: Recipient All; Year 2012; Food Aid Type: All; Donor: All; Commodity: All; Delivery Mode: All; Basis: Actual Tons. Source : World Food Programme


Food price: The line chart in the chapter “Land Rush” is based on the FAO Food Price Index by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). It is a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities. It consists of the average of five commodity group price indices, weighted by the average export shares of each of the groups for 2002-2004. Source: FAOSTAT


Foreign land investment data are based on the Land Matrix Database. Source: Land Matrix – The global land observatory. A foreign land investment must meet the following criteria:

  • Entail a transfer of rights to use, control or ownership of land through sale, lease or concession;
  • For the purpose of agricultural production, timber extraction, carbon trading, industry, renewable energy production, conservation, and tourism in low- and middle-income countries;
  • Have been initiated since the year 2000;
  • Imply the potential conversion of land from smallholder production, local community use or important ecosystem service provision to commercial use;
  • Cover an area of 200 hectares or more.


Four Fs (food, feed, fibre and fuel) are categories of land use and are a suitable approach to determine the most vital uses of agricultural production. Several studies examine the influence of disposable income on these categories. Source: WEINZETTEL J., HERTWICH E., PETERS G., STEEN-OLSEN K. and GALLI A. (2012): Affluence drives the global displacement of land use, Global Environmental Change 23(2013), p. 433-438.


Global food demand is based on the food supply and population data provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The following equation is applied: Petacalories = (Σ(Food supply (kcal/capita/day) * Population)). Source: FAOSTAT (population data) and FAOSTAT (food supply data)


Global population data are based on estimates and projections by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), Population Division – World Population Prospects, revised 2015. Source: FAOSTAT


HDI: The Human Development Index by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is a composite index measuring average achievement in three basic dimensions of human development—a long and healthy life, knowledge and a decent standard of living. Source: UNDP


Map of Investments displays the investment relationship of 16 world regions. The categorisation of these 16 world regions is derived from FAO regional groupings with following alterations: Central America and Caribbean were merged to form Central America & Caribbean; Eastern Asia and Southern Asia were merged to form Eastern Asia; Western Asia was renamed Western Asia & Arabic World; Northern, Southern, and Western Europe were merged to form Western Europe; Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia were merged to form Oceania.


Water resources are based on the data for total renewable water resources per capita by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The figures are expressed as the number of cubic metres available per capita. In chapter 1 - Resource scarcity the figure displays the global median, in all other chapters the values represent country data. Source: FAOSTAT