Who is this guide for?
- National policy makers
- Regional and local officials
What can governments do to facilitate better investment practices? How can you as a district official support responsible investment practices in your district?
This Model Guidebook for Government includes instructions and tailorable tools for officials seeking to learn more about international standards and best practices to advocate and implement improved policy and legislation at the national level. It also includes resources for regional and local officials faced with the challenges and opportunities of facilitating responsible land investment in their regions.
Ideally, land governance frameworks reflect the best practices listed in this Guidebook. In a well-functioning land governance framework, for example, no sale, lease or change in the use of a land asset occurs without notice, consultation, negotiation and consent. Equitable and beneficial deals are the rule, and if there is a dispute or breach of an agreement, judicial and administrative remedies are available and accessible. In many places, however, laws are imperfect, resources to implement are lacking (particularly at the local level), and the informal land situation is unique.
The RIPL Guidebooks build on existing guidance and internationally recognized standards with the objective of synthesizing best practices, contributing concrete examples to address existing gaps, and leveling the playing field by developing guidance tailored to multiple investment stakeholders.
Phase 1, 2 and 3 are intended for new investment. Phase 4 is designed for application on existing investments.
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In established market economies, the policies, laws, regulations, and state administrative and judicial systems that govern land transactions are known as land governance frameworks. Ideally, these frameworks reflect the best practices listed in this guidebook. In places where this is true, most land investments can be said to be responsible investments, typically the result of agreements between informed, willing buyers and informed, willing sellers. In places where this is not true (i.e. where state laws do not follow best practices or the state lacks capacity to implement best practices), a legal investment may still be carried out in an irresponsible manner.
In a well-functioning land governance framework, for example, no sale, lease or change the use of a land asset occurs without notice, consultation, negotiation and consent. Inequitable and non-beneficial rules are less frequent, and if there is a dispute or breach of an agreement, judicial and administrative remedies are available and accessible.
Unfortunately, however, many emerging economies lack governance frameworks embodying these best practices. If they are in place, the government and landholding communities often lack the capacity to implement them. Complicating the situation, individuals possessing land rights – especially women – frequently hold their interests and rights informally. Even if their rights are formally documented, prevailing norms and traditions may mean that women are excluded from consultation and decision-making processes even when their interests are clear. In many places laws are imperfect, government capacity to implement is lacking (particularly at the local level), and the informal land situation is unique, requiring that business enterprises take special care to understand whether and in what way to proceed with an investment.
Fortunately, situations like these can be mitigated by looking to international standards and best practices for property and land investments. A great deal of global attention is focused on implementing these standards through government and corporate commitments to improve land governance and investment practices. The consensus is clear: land deals should be done responsibly.
There is less consensus, however, about how to invest responsibly. For example, it is not always clear how a company can meaningfully engage and consult with all community members. Nor is there clarity around how to meaningfully include women in situations where they are not customarily included, such as community meetings and land transaction processes. Limited government capacity poses a further barrier to effective enabling frameworks: governments may need help to maintain and enforce equitable land practices. At the same time, companies looking to invest may need help navigating those institutional and governance shortcomings to uphold equitable land practices in their investments.This guidebook will help investment stakeholders understand the challenges and determine what is required to create fit for purpose solutions that address localized issues.
With support from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) Land Governance for Economic Development (LEGEND) Programs, Landesa’s RIPL Project is addressing these challenges by making international standards and guidelines more accessible as guidebooks. These guidebooks offer country- and audience-specific step-by-step instructions for how to implement best practices and international standards, making it easier for businesses, governments and communities to all do their part to create a responsible land investment.
The guidebooks support the application of existing, internationally recognized standards by providing concrete steps and tools to support their implementation. The guidebooks build on existing guidance with the objective of synthesizing best practices, contributing concrete examples to address existing gaps, and leveling the playing field by developing guidance tailored to multiple investment stakeholders.
The guidance is grounded in field research on current investments in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as Landesa’s experiences directly supporting companies in the Global South, including in Asia and South America, to develop land rights policies and implementation guidance. Landesa brings over 50 years of experience working with governments to support the development of pro-poor and gender-equitable land policy and legislation and with local civil society to support the implementation of those policies on the ground.
It is important to note that the RIPL Guidebooks are not about rectifying historic land grabs,[i] but can help stakeholders identify issues. Businesses (and governments) should always look very carefully at who currently uses and claims rights to the land, and then look at how they came to use or control the land.
It should also be noted that the RIPL Guidebooks are not intended as legal advice, but rather as tools to aid stakeholders in navigating the process of designing and implementing a responsible investment. Furthermore, the best practices described in this guidebook should be seen as the basic minimum standard for responsible land-based investment, which all stakeholders should strive to exceed. Guidelines in the RIPL Guidebooks may exceed the minimum legal requirements at local, national, or international levels, but extra measures are suggested to safeguard against international condemnation for land grabs and to protect local land holders and users.
[i] Although there is scant literature about the legacy issue, two recent publications present detailed analyses of the subject. See L. Cotula, T. Berger, & P. Sutz, “Addressing Legacy Land Issues in Agribusiness Investments,” LEGEND Analytical Paper 2 (2016), available at https://landportal.info/library/resources/legend-analytical-paper-2/addressing-legacy-land-issues-agribusiness-investments; N. Flanders & J. Jenks, A Guidance Note on Managing Legacy Issues in Agribusiness (2015), available at https://toolkit.cdcgroup.com/assets/uploads/CDC_Land_Legacy.pdf
The focus of this guidance is on supporting stakeholders in implementing best practices related to understanding and respecting land rights in the context of an investment. It is intended to be used alongside additional resources that focus on other critical aspects of investment design and implementation, such as guidance and best practices for understanding and mitigating environmental impacts.
While many of the best practices and steps outlined in this Guidebook can be applied across sectors, the focus is on land-based investments in agriculture. These investments can be both direct acquisition of land(through lease or purchase from government, a community or an individual) and/or procuring agricultural commodities directly from smallholders farmers.
This guidance is intended to be adaptable to different contexts and investment models. It is worth noting, though, that a significant amount of the field research used to inform the guidance took place in sub-Saharan Africa.
There are three broad investment stakeholders: business or investor; government, and the community of people. Each of these audiences has different needs, roles and responsibilities in an agricultural investment transaction. The RIPL project has, accordingly, produced a different guidebook for each stakeholder group and identified a specific user for each guidebook.
Achieving a responsible investment is too difficult for any single actor to accomplish: it is imperative that communities, governments and businesses work together to uphold best practices and ensure that transactions in land are sustainable and responsible.
This Model RIPL Guidebook for Government is directed to a national or local government official who may not be familiar with best practices related to responsible agricultural investments or completely knowledgeable about their country’s investment process. This guidebook envisions three general government stakeholders for land-based investment:
The government, in particular local officials, should support businesses and communities in implementing best practices to ensure responsible investment. Importantly, their level of involvement will depend on the type of investment. The role of local officials is to engage directly with business and community representatives in achieving the following objectives:
The national government also plays an important role in responsible investment. At a high level, the national government’s role is to ensure that all parties are adhering to pertinent local, national and international laws and to provide an enabling and receptive environment for a business that embraces best practices. As such, it may need to act as a facilitator or guide during the investment process. This is the primary responsibility of the Governmental Investment Agency: to link prospective investors to communities while promoting and ensuring responsible investment.
The government is also responsible for:
These responsibilities also feed into the government’s other general responsibilities with respect to environmental conservation, food security and domestic security, which all depend on an effective and equitable land tenure regime.
The Model RIPL Guidebook for Business Enterprise is intended for a company representative tasked with evaluating and facilitating a prospective investment or managing an ongoing investment.
Businesses play an important role in upholding best practices in a responsible investment: as the entity with potentially more resources and capacity than the government, they must ensure community and individual rights are respected throughout the process of acquiring or investing in land, otherwise they will be left exposed operationally and reputationally.
At the same time, these resources put the business in a position of power. In combination with a clear interest in obtaining land, this power can too easily be used in a way that can be perceived to be threatening to land rights holders.
Whether this is fair or not, business should be responsible for implementing international standards to ensure communities are treated with fairness and respect throughout the investment process. This means businesses should uphold human rights more broadly as part of their core business activities in line with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). This means that businesses have a responsibility to:
Implement feedback from the community at all stages of the investment process. Simply talking about responsible investment is not enough. Businesses must work with the communities and land rights holders affected by the investment, which means taking time for questions, concerns, and ideas from the community and meaningfully including that input into the investment design and implementation. It also requires empowering community members and land rights holders who may be more vulnerable or marginalized to meaningfully participate at all stages.
The Model RIPL Guidebook for Communities is intended to be used by representatives in the community engaging with government and business on behalf of the broader community. This guidebook refers to this group as a Land Investment Committee with a sub-group of members called the Negotiation Team.
Communities and their leaders must be empowered to participate fully in any investments affecting them to help shape the terms of the investment and decide whether the investment should proceed. Though they may benefit from a land-based investment, rural communities and smallholders are also the stakeholders that have the most to lose when land deals take place. It is important to note that investments – even undertaken with best practices – cannot simply be imposed upon communities. Women and men in communities must have the capacity to be a part of fair land deals and have an opportunity to participate in the final decision. There must be community attention, consideration and response – from both women and men. This means that communities and their leaders may need to:
Civil society can also assist communities during the planning, assessment, contracting and implementation of an investment by serving as facilitators, experts, interpreters and collaborators. This engagement may prove helpful to business enterprises as well, who will likely need help effectively reaching and engaging with community members. Civil society may therefore play the role of ensuring that all elements of a rigorous consultation and engagement effort or resettlement process are effectively implemented.
This Model Guidebook for Government includes instructions and tailorable tools and resources that a government can modify as it prepares for an agricultural investment in a socially responsible manner. Instructions and tools should be applied to all investment types, regardless of whether they are on private, communal or public land.
The investment process is separated into four phases in this guidebook, with each phase consisting of two tasks that have detailed steps. Each task contains step-by-step guidance organized in a linear manner to provide structure to an investment process that is often times complex and cyclic in nature. The information within each step is a combination of analysis, principles, recommendations, tools and resources.
Explained at the outset of each task, the guidebook includes detailed best practice statements that reflect the international standards and principles for socially responsible investments in land.
When applying the RIPL Guidebooks to an investment, it is important to recognize that the context of an investment will shape how best practices can bring about a socially responsible investment. This will require identifying these variables in order to apply the guidance to the community’s unique investment context. Examples of the contextual variables include:
All of the phases have resources and tools to help the community translate best practices to the specific needs, risks and opportunities of the agricultural investment project.
There is also information organized by thematic area in our primers. Primers are approximately 10-page briefs designed to complement the step-by-step guidance. They provide more detailed information on several key topics referenced throughout the guidebook. An understanding of these topics will be central to contextualizing and accomplishing the best practices. Some primers will be referenced throughout the guidebook where appropriate, and all primers are available online here.^ Collapse ^
Responsible agricultural investment includes more than just following the letter of the national law. It also means adhering to international standards and best practices. While the local government and communities may not be bound by these international standards, the investing company and their funders will be. As such, the investing company may need to insist on standards over and above or different to local or national policies.
The basis for these best practices comes from two key documents that embody all the agreed upon principles and best practices. The aim of the RIPL Guidebooks is to help operationalize these three recent well-known instruments:
At a high level, these standards call on businesses to work equitably with communities and individuals with legitimate land rights. This includes (but is not limited to):
A great deal of global attention is now focused on supporting the implementation of these practices to achieve fair, informed, inclusive and choice-driven processes that respects the land rights of all.
A necessary part of developing a high level of trust between an investor and communities is obtaining free, prior and informed consent (FPIC). FPIC carries with it the element of choice to accept or reject the change in land use that accompanies the proposed investment.
FPIC is enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP);[i] it is also included in other international legal instruments[ii] and domestic legal frameworks.[iii] Numerous business enterprises have agreed to FPIC as part of their commitments to responsibly invest in land.[iv]
Under UN principles, FPIC is reserved for indigenous communities, while consultation and participation are seen as the minimum standard for interactions with non-indigenous communities.[v] Importantly, UNDRIP states that individuals and communities have the right to self-determine whether they are indigenous or not, which can be in the absence of the government making such a determination.[vi]
That being said, it is often broadly interpreted as best practice to obtain the FPIC of all communities that maintain customary rights to or uses of land and natural resources.[vii] Moreover, the principles of FPIC overlap considerably with the principles of good contracting: no party ever parts with land without saying “yes.” And any party asked to enter into a contract has the right to say “no.” That is, fair business deals always have the element of choice. FPIC is therefore central to land-based investment projects seeking to transact responsibly. Finally, businesses must know that it is difficult to maintain a social license when surrounded by displaced land holders and users who did not have a choice.
Choice must be fully informed. Unlike in a normal buyer/seller relationship, corporations have an unfair advantage in the relationship with local communities which must be balanced for achieving truly informed consent. For land-based agricultural investments, FPIC requires that affected communities:
Achieving unanimous consent from a community will be difficult. Given this, defining consent will need to be determined on a case-by-case basis and in consultation with the community. But to mitigate risk potential risks and ensure buy-in from community members, consent should be obtained from as many people as possible. See the FPIC Solutions Dialogue from Solutions Network for further guidance.
Publicize meetings to achieve diverse representation. It is likely that the investment will impact people and groups differently so their participation is needed to contribute different perspectives and help anticipate and mitigate potential issues.
Ensure broad representation. Reaching groups who are frequently underrepresented in decision making forums, such as women, youth and ethnic minorities (see Vulnerable Groups Primer), often requires more concentrated effort than just inviting them to information meetings, so make specific efforts to include the following individuals:
Structure the meetings into three parts to ensure broad participation.
Develop a meeting agenda facilitation plan to ensure the following is achieved:
Document the meetings.
Schedule additional meetings.
Obtain consent from community members.
[i] See UN General Assembly, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: resolution / adopted by the General Assembly, A/RES/61/295 (Oct. 2, 2007), available at http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/DRIPS_en.pdf.
[ii] See e.g., United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, An Overview of the Principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent and Indigenous Peoples in International and Domestic Law and Practices (2005) (detailing how Philippines, Malaysia, Australia, Venezuela, and Peru implemented legislation relating to FPIC).
[iii] See e.g. The Coca-Cola Company, The Coca-Cola Company Commitment: Land Rights and Sugar (2013), https://www.coca-colacompany.com/content/dam/journey/us/en/private/fileassets/pdf/2013/11/proposal-to-oxfam-on-land-tenure-and-sugar.pdf; Nestlé, Nestlé Commitment on Land & Land Rights in Agricultural Supply Chains (2014), http://www.nestle.com/asset-library/documents/library/documents/corporate_social_responsibility/nestle-commitment-land-rights-agriculture.pdf; PepsiCo, PepsiCo: Land Rights Policy (2014), https://www.pepsico.com/Assets/Download/PepsiCo_Land_Policy.pdf; Unilever, “Sustainable Sourcing Strategy,” https://www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/ (last visited Jan. 29, 2016); Illovo, “Illovo Group Guidelines on Land and Land Rights” (2015), http://www.illovosugar.co.za/Group-Governance/Group-Guidelines-on-Land-and-Land-Rights (last visited Jan. 29, 2016).
[iv] For example, as part of its policy of “zero tolerance” for land grabs, Coca-Cola committed to adhering to FPIC with respect to all communities it works with. Tirit Amir, Coca-Cola Leads the Way on Land Rights, OXFAM (Nov. 8, 2013), https://politicsofpoverty.oxfamamerica.org/2013/11/coca-cola-leads-the-way-on-land-rights/.
[v] See UN-REDD Programme, Guidelines on Free, Prior and Informed Consent (2013), available at https://www.uncclearn.org/sites/default/files/inventory/un-redd05.pdf.
This phase is about creating policies and frameworks to support responsible land investment.
It is important for countries seeking agricultural investments to create a legal, administrative and investment environment that supports best practices for responsible investment.[i] Regardless of the size of the investment or whether it will be on private, communal or public land, policies should support approaches that enable communities to directly engage with business regarding the design, negotiation and implementation of an investment.
Roles and responsibilities for facilitating an investment are often distributed among various line ministries at different steps in the investment process. Also common among government ministries and departments are conflicting and overlapping institutional mandates that can hinder effective implementation and enforcement of the investment process.[x] A central agency can improve coordination and effective communication among responsible agencies to support effective and consistent implementation of laws and policies.[xi]
The government should identify one institution that helps companies and communities coordinate, facilitate and monitor responsible investments in land from start to finish. For the purposes of this guidebook, this agency will be referred to as the “Governmental Investment Agency.”
Responsibilities might include:
To generate investment opportunities, governments will often establish a national land bank authority that is responsible for identifying suitable land for future investments and acquiring it from rural communities.[xii] Typically, a national land bank authority manages a centralized database called a “land bank” that should be able to provide prompt information to prospective investors about the nature, size and location of available land.[xiii] Governments should avoid relying on land banks, as these institutions often lack the capacity to coordinate with other government departments to:
The Governmental Investment Agency should allow and encourage the business with the support of civil society to directly engage with local authorities and communities to design, negotiate and implement an investment.
The government should have laws and policies in place that protect communities and land holders and users when facilitating land-based investments, particularly when they will involve a long-term government lease, and local farmers, herders and gatherers do not have documented land rights.[xiv] Yet in many countries, laws affecting investments are extremely weak. For example, national land laws may not adequately protect the land rights of communities and land holders and users (including women, indigenous people, pastoralists and other vulnerable groups), provide effective opportunities for transparency, local consultation and accountability, or even provide a framework for dealing with large scale land-based investment generally.[xv]
Principles that are essential for sound national policy for responsible investment include:
Making policies and guidelines for responsible investment available and clear to investors is a necessary first step in ensuring that investors follow the correct procedures. These policies should be freely accessible and easy for other government employees, businesses, civil society organizations and community members to find and understand.
The government may want to consider the following actions as part of its implementation plan:
Training will vary based on the roles and responsibilities of different government stakeholders. For instance, government employees responsible for receiving and addressing land-related grievances in the course of an investment will need more detailed checklists and resources than a policy maker. That said, all government actors will likely benefit from trainings. For an example presentation covering issues and principles relating to responsible agricultural investment, see Supplemental Resource: Best Practices for Responsible Investment. The purpose of this presentation is for government officials to learn about best practices for responsible investments and the responsibilities of businesses under international standards for respecting land rights.
In addition to best practices, appropriate government officials should be aware of the issues that can inhibit responsible investment. Although the challenges that arise for each endeavor are context-specific, there are some common themes that frequently prove problematic for land-based investments. A few of these themes are discussed below.
One common issue resulting from poor investment planning is the assumption of abundant available land for development. Land that may appear to be unused or underutilized is made available for investment but is often in fact used for multiple non-agricultural purposes, such as transit or pastoral grazing. Additionally, communal land use practices may create situations where, despite a lack of clear ownership, the development of particular tracts would disrupt the livelihoods of multiple families. Finally, environmental conditions such as erosion and drought can exacerbate scarcity and heighten tensions around land use. Land scarcity issues increase likelihood of land-related disputes and the weakening of all land rights, including those of women.
Allegations of encroachment arise where one user is accused of extending their land use into the neighboring user’s claim. Encroachment typically occurs when the encroacher knows that they do not have a right to the land but feel historically disadvantaged by an investment, or simply they view idle land not used by an investor as an opportunity to meet their livelihood needs. It could also occur when an investor builds a structure beyond its property line and into a neighboring community or another individual’s property.
Issues around compensation create some of the most common obstacles to a successful responsible investment in land and property. Other common problems, like protests, violence, encroachment or displacement, often develop after initial faults in compensation.
[i] For a comprehensive treatment of how to use law to make foreign investment work for sustainable development, see Lorenzo Cotula, Foreign Investment, Law, and Sustainable Development: A Handbook on Agriculture and Extractive Industries (2014), available at http://pubs.iied.org/12587IIED/.
[iv]For further guidance on evaluating national laws and comparing them to international best practices, see Janet Pritchard et al., Securing Community Land and Resource Rights in Africa: A Guide to Legal Reform and Best Practices (2013), available at http://www.forestpeoples.org/sites/fpp/files/publication/2014/01/securingcommunitylandresourcesguideenglishjan2014.pdf.
[v] VGGT, supra note ii, at 29-33.
[vi] Id. at 7-9.
[vii] Id. at 3-4.
[viii] See Lorenzo Cotula, Land Tenure Issues in Agricultural Investment (2011), available at http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/solaw/files/thematic_reports/TR_05B_web.pdf.
[ix] See Leslie Hannay, David Bledsoe, & Mina Manuchehri, “Realizing Socially-Responsible Investments in Land from a Gender Perspective: Unpacking ‘Zero Tolerance’ to Identify Barriers and Practical Steps to Achieve Positive Long-term Change,” Paper prepared for presentation at the World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, The World Bank - Washington DC, March 14-18, 2016; VGGT, supra note ii, at 5.
[x] See Lorenzo Cotula, Land rights and Investment Treaties: Exploring the Interface 41 (2015), available at http://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/12578IIED.pdf; FAO, Governing Land for Women and Men: A Technical Guide to Support the Achievement of Responsible Gender-Equitable Governance of Land Tenure (2013), available at http://www.fao.org/docrep/017/i3114e/i3114e.pdf.
[xi] See FAO, Safeguarding Land Tenure Rights in the Context of Agricultural Investment 26, (Governance of Tenure Technical Guide No. 4 2015).
[xii] See Cotula, Land Tenure Issues in Agricultural Investment 22 (2011).
[xiii] See Celia Ortega & Carlos Griffin, Investment Promotion Essentials: What Sets the World’s Best Investment Facilitators Apart from the Rest 7 (World Bank 2009), available at http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/558121468331827295/pdf/503560BRI0Box31actice1GIPB01PUBLIC1.pdf.
[xiv] See Cotula, supra note i, at 10.
[xv] See Cotula, supra note iii, at 33.
[xvi] FAO, Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance of Tenure, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of Food Security 4 (2012) ["VGGT"] (“Business enterprises should act with due diligence to avoid infringing on the human rights and legitimate tenure rights of others.”). See also UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights 5 (UN Human Rights Council 2011), available at http://www.business-humanrights.org/Documents/UNGuidingPrinciples (“In order to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for how they address their adverse human rights impacts, business enterprises should carry out human rights due diligence. The process should include assessing actual and potential human rights impacts, integrating and acting upon the findings, tracking responses, and communicating how impacts are addressed.”).
[xvii] See VGGT, supra note vii, at 14.
[xviii] Id. at 30.
[xix] Nigel Edmead, Technical Workshop Presentation on “Gender Issues in Designing and Setting Up Land Information Systems and Databases: Experiences from Ghana, Zambia and Uganda” (May 2011).
[xxi] See Rugemeleza Nshala, Anna Locke, & Jennifer Duncan, “Discussion Paper: A Proposed Land for Equity Scheme in Tanzania” (2013).
The Governmental Investment Agency should serve as the only touch point for business and be responsible for:
Importantly, the Governmental Investment Agency should carefully review investment proposals involving community or customary land, particularly where land is held by communities with limited experience and understanding of the law and their rights and who are in a weak position for negotiating fair transfers of tenure rights.
When a business registers its intent to invest, the Governmental Investment Agency should require a due diligence review:
For commodity procurement, the Agency should require additional information:
Once this initial information is provided, the due diligence review should then focus on investigating the investor and its practices. This includes:
Linking business with landowners supports company due diligence and clarifies land availability and the appropriate procedures for land transfer. This can support land rights protections and enable social safeguards. To do so, the Governmental Investment Agency should:
[i] See FAO, Safeguarding Land Tenure Rights in the Context of Agricultural Investment 50 (Governance of Tenure Technical Guide No. 4 2015).
[ii] See OECD and FAO, OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains 33-36 (2016), available at http://mneguidelines.oecd.org/OECD-FAO-Guidance.pdf.
[iii] See id. at 36-37.
[iv] See id. at 34.
[v] See id. at 38-39.
[vi] FAO, supra note i, at 51.
[viii] See International Institute for Sustainable Development, The IISD Guide to Negotiating Investment Contracts for Farmland and Water (2014), available at http://www.iisd.org/sites/default/files/publications/iisd-guide-negotiating-investment-contracts-farmland-water_1.pdf.
[ix] See FAO, supra note i, at 50-51.
During this phase, the government’s role is to facilitate consultations between the investor and land rights holders and to ensure assessments of community capacity, environmental and social impacts, and land value are conducted in accordance with national law.
More often than not, governments lack the resources to identify suitable land for investment that is in keeping with international standards. Government should establish policies that allow businesses with the support of civil society to engage directly with local authorities and community members around a possible investment, regardless of whether the investment is taking place on private, communal or public land. Government officials at the local, regional and national level should support and monitor the process as businesses engages with the community and conduct their impact assessments. This means ensuring the business:
For an investment to succeed over time, the business and community must foster strong interactive relationships through regular community engagement and consultations. Good consultation should:
The engagement and consultation process should be in accordance with FPIC. FPIC recognizes the right of land holders and users to say “yes” or “no” to proposed changes in their land use. It is also understood to be a legal principle of good contracting – the party being asked to enter into the contract has the right to say “no”. FPIC stands for free, prior and informed consent:
[ii] Id. at 33.
Before the business begins searching for potential land or engaging with communities, Agency officials should provide the business with a package of information to facilitate the completion of the legal and social requirements related to investments in land. By doing so, the government will be able to:
The Governmental Investment Agency should coordinate with other governmental institutions to help the investor identify areas where investment should take place. Ideally the government would be able to help the business:
To ensure that land investments are responsible, sustainable, and will benefit the community, appropriate local officials should ensure the community has strong systems and safeguards in place that are rooted in good practices and accomplishes the following:
If a community is not prepared to engage with an investor, local officials should identify a qualified CSO to work with the community build its capacity to engage and negotiate with the business.
After identifying potential investment locations, the business will need to learn about the institutional, environmental and social situation at each potential investment site. The business should be gathering as much background research as possible on the local land context, as different regions of a country may have entirely different land governance practices and customs.
It will be important for the government to provide the business with the following:
When the business has initial information to structure a productive and culturally appropriate interaction, government officials can introduce community leaders and members to the business in each prospective investment site. The purpose of this interaction is for the business to engage local leaders and community members to validate the availability and status of the land and understand how the investment will impact each community. Local CSOs should also be included at this stage to facilitate engagement and dialogue between the community and the business.
In preparation for engaging with community leaders and members, the government may need to help community leaders and members identify an appropriate entry point to engage with the investor. Consult Supplemental Resource: Leveraging Land Investment Committees if the community needs assistance creating this entry point. Each community is likely to have protocols for approaching community members for a consultation.
The business will also need to engage a qualified facilitator. This should be a neutral third-party who is familiar with the customs of the local community. It may be a government agency, a district official or another person or entity (such as a local CSO) with knowledge of the local landscape and context.[ii]
The business, with the support of its facilitator and/or local CSOs, should meet with community leaders to:
Local officials should ensure that the business works with community leaders to coordinate a series of meetings with each affected community to introduce the business and the potential project and continue addressing questions. Equipped with the site-specific background research, invite as many local right holders and land users as possible to initial consultations, referring to best practices for holding community meetings in the introduction section. Supplemental Resource: Community Consultation Checklist can also help guide consultations.
If the community provides its consent to move forward, the government should provide initial notice to the broader community of the business’s intent to invest giving initial notice is both a best practice and an important step in effective and socially responsible engagement.
Notice should be provided in a language, format and location that is accessible to community members, including women and other vulnerable groups. The notice should include key project details, such as the name of the investor, intended land use, a map of the affected area and appropriate contact information. Widespread public postings are one way to distribute the notice.
Once the business has presented all of the information to the community, and once all community members have had the opportunity to raise questions, concerns and complaints, it is time for the existing land users and right holders to decide whether to halt or proceed with exploring the investment further.
This is not an agreement to proceed with the project itself, but rather an agreement to continue discussions and to negotiate in good faith. In other words, a community may have agreed to move forward, but there are still many steps remaining (including assessment, negotiation and contracting) before the transaction is complete.
In some cases, it might be wise to use a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the business and the community as a resource to support inclusive negotiations by laying out the terms, conditions and stakeholder roles for the negotiations process. Supplemental Resource: Template for LOI/MOU provides a sample MOU for reference. Additional resources include:
[i] See Namati, Community Land Facilitators Guide 73 (2016).
[ii] For a discussion of the hallmarks of good facilitation and the important traits of an effective facilitator, see id. at 21-24.
This section provides guidance on the type of information that the business must gather, assess and incorporate in the final configuration for the investment to be considered socially responsible. The government must ensure that the business hires a neutral third party (or government official, depending on national law) to:
To inform whether both the business and the community should proceed with the investment, three assessments should be conducted. Although there are overlapping aspects and steps to each assessment component, for the sake of clarity this guide presents each component as a standalone assessment. Results should be reflected in the ongoing consultation and engagement.
These assessments will also be utilized in the case that alternatives are exhausted and displacement is unavoidable, leading to building of LRP and RAP.The business should ensure that community members are informed about the assessments, can participate meaningfully in them and have assessment findings communicated to them in a form that they can understand.
[i] See African Union, Guiding Principles on Large Scale Land Based Investments in Africa 15-16 (2014), available at https://hdl.handle.net/10855/22829.
[ii] See FAO, Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance of Tenure, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of Food Security 4 (2012) (“Business enterprises should act with due diligence to avoid infringing on the human rights and legitimate tenure rights of others.”); UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights 5 (UN Human Rights Council 2011) (“In order to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for how they address their adverse human rights impacts, business enterprises should carry out human rights due diligence. The process should include assessing actual and potential human rights impacts, integrating and acting upon the findings, tracking responses, and communicating how impacts are addressed.”).
[iii] See Nigel Edmead, Technical Workshop Presentation on “Gender Issues in Designing and Setting Up Land Information Systems and Databases: Experiences from Ghana, Zambia and Uganda” (May 2011).
Given the complexity of the assessments, the business should finance one or more experienced third parties to design and conduct the capacity assessment, ESIA and land valuation. the government's role is to participate in the process and support the hiring of third-party experts. Inadequate assessments often result from the failure to secure appropriately trained and credentialed technical professionals with experience working with communities. An expert third party brings reliability and technical expertise.
A third party also lends credibility and objectivity to the findings. It is important that the assessment teams are trusted and respected and that their relationship to the business enterprise is structured in a manner that supports that independence, as the experts will need to act on behalf of both communities and the business enterprise and navigate real and perceived conflicts of interest. To promote objectivity, the selection of a third party could be done through a tender process based on qualifications and experience. The services, financial payments and transaction could also be managed by a party that does not have an interest in the investment project, such as an escrow company or a financial services provider. Appropriate local officials should ensure input from community leaders on the candidates informs the hiring process. This will ensure the community is comfortable with the parties who will be conducting the assessment.
In addition to possessing the requisite expertise and professionalism, the assessment teams should have the following traits:
By now, consultations with community members should have made the community and its leaders aware that an assessment could be conducted during the investment feasibility determination. Now, they should be explicitly informed of the desire to perform an assessment and should be asked for their informed consent (either orally or in writing) before activities begin. The business should use this meeting to introduce the planned assessment teams, answer questions, develop an assessment engagement plan and confirm the community is comfortable moving forward.
During this time the business and assessment teams should also develop and be prepared to discuss the research methodology for the assessments. Supplemental Resource: Land Rights Assessment Tool Kit contains resources and information to develop a customized assessment to identify potential issues and risks related to economic, environmental, social and land rights issues. The research methodology should describe:
Refer to the introduction for best practices for holding community meetings.
The community capacity assessment looks at the capacity of community leaders and community members who use land to listen, comment, disagree, ask questions, and ultimately negotiate benefits, compensation and other terms of a contract.This will lead to designing and implementing robust, locally adaptable projects.
It is not uncommon for communities and individual land holders and users to lack experience with commercial land transactions. In the event the community capacity assessment identifies gaps in the community's ability to meaningfully participate in the process, the business will need a plan to address these gaps, such as through trainings or technical support. Without such support, if the business were to proceed with the investment, the outcome would fail to comply with international best practices such as FPIC and could produce unintended risks and consequences for the investment and the community.
To conduct a community capacity assessment, the assessment team will need to:
The business will be responsible for conducting an ESIA, which includes examining the impacts on the community’s land rights, uses and livelihoods. It is the government’s responsibility to enforce this obligation and ensure the business hires neutral third-party experts to conduct the assessment. Appropriate local officials should also support robust community participation in the assessment’s implementation.
As the ESIA reveals possible or actual negative effects on land rights and uses, the business and Land Investment Committee should work together to reconfigure the project as feasible to minimize breadth and depth of the impacts and eliminate them where possible. Appropriate local officials should support the business in exploring alternative investment models that mitigate the identified impacts and resolving existing disputes before the acquisition moves forward. As part of this process the government should also play a role in reviewing and validating the findings of the assessment. The community and the business should use the assessment findings to update the investment framework.
Displacement is rarely acceptable and will lead to a business suffering international scrutiny and condemnation, so it only should be used as a last resort. Governments should dissuade displacement even at the cost of impacting the investment’s scope. USAID Land Tenure Guidelines calls for limiting displacement, but if unavoidable, to the minimum program requirements for specific programs and a specific length of time, using the minimum land necessary. A Resettlement Action Plan or a Livelihood Restoration Plan is necessary to serve impacted land holders and users.
According to USAID, a Resettlement Action Plan will address the impacts of displacement with a resettlement plan compliant with international standards. This RAP may include:
IFC Performance Standard 5 also highlights the importance of minimizing the impact on displaced land holders and users if displacement is unavoidable, and developing an effective Livelihood Restoration Plan for affected communities. Companies may use other community assessments to gauge the number of individuals and households impacted to judge who would be eligible for compensation as part of a holistic, sustainable restoration of their livelihoods following displacement. The company needs to acknowledge the basic cost of the LRP and additional costs that might arise to ensure compensation is sufficient, such as the cost to develop land adequately for the community’s uses. Procedures should also be in place to continuously monitor and evaluate the implementation of the LRP or RAP.[ii] Government’s role should be to approve any LRP or RAP and periodically monitor and regulate the LRP and RAP to ensure the company indeed works to restore the livelihoods of displaced people.
Valuation of land must typically be done by professional valuers licensed by the government. The Royal Institute of Charter Surveyors (RICS), a professional body promoting and enforcing internationally recognized standards in valuation, provides useful guidance on best practices for land valuation. The RICS Valuation – Global Standards, commonly referred to as the RICS Red Book, is a comprehensive resource with practical implementation guidance. Refer also to the Valuation and Compensation Primer for more guidance.
The following are high level principles that should be taken into account by the government:
The business should engage with each community and affected land rights holders and users to determine who is entitled to compensation and then begin constructing the compensation package. The valuation calculations should serve as the basis for compensation, but should also be supplemented by efforts to replace or augment land-based livelihoods, as well as local people’s perception of value and their requirements for the compensation value.
Compensation for displacement as part of a LRP or RAP should also be based on the value determined and generally exceed the determined land valuation to enhance the livelihoods of affected populations.
At a minimum, compensation should be such that livelihoods are made no worse off over the full term that the land is not available for use by current users.
Local officials should ensure that the business:
[i] See Guidelines on Compulsory Displacement and Resettlement in USAID Programming, USAID May 2016. Available at https://www.land-links.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/USAID_Land_Tenure_Guidelines_CDR.pdf
[ii] See International Finance Corporation Performance Standard 5: Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement, January 1, 2012. Available at https://www.ifc.org/wps/wcm/connect/topics_ext_content/ifc_external_corporate_site/sustainability-at-ifc/policies-standards/performance-standards/ps5
[iii] IFC, Guidance Note 5 ¶ GN34 (2012).
[iv] Id. at ¶ GN 22.
[v] See Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Valuation – Professional Standards: Incorporating the IVSC International Valuation Standards 20 (2015); International Valuation Standards Council, Code of Ethical Principles for Professional Valuers 9-10 (2011), available at https://www.ivsc.org/standards/international-professional-standards/consultation/code-of-ethical-principles#tab-documents.
[vi] See True Price, Towards a Better Protocol on Fair Compensation in Cases of Legitimate Tenure Changes: Input Document for a Participatory Process 5 (2016), available at http://landportal.info/sites/landportal.info/files/TowardsFairCompensationProtocol-FinalDraft.pdf.
[vii] IFC, Performance Standard 5: Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement ¶ 5 (2012).
[viii] See Nigel Edmead, Technical Workshop Presentation on “Gender Issues in Designing and Setting Up Land Information Systems and Databases: Experiences from Ghana, Zambia and Uganda” (May 2011).
[ix] IFC, Guidance Note 5 ¶ GN22.
[xi] Id. at ¶ GN24.
[xii] USAID, Operational Guidelines for Responsible Land-Based Investment 45 (2015).
[xiii] IFC, Performance Standard 5 ¶ 9.
An equitable and inclusive contract is a collaborative product of the business, appropriate legal support and counsel, and the community. This process should be informed by due diligence findings from Phase 1, ongoing community engagement, and results from community assessments conducted in Phase 2.
A land investment contract plays an important role in memorializing the clear rights, responsibilities and processes that have been defined under Phase 2. The government is responsible for representing and protecting the interests of the communities living in and around the investment site particularly because the bargaining power between the business and the community is inherently unequal. The government should ensure the community receives appropriate legal support and may want to review drafted contracts. Importantly while some official lease agreements are often negotiated between the business and a government agency at the national level, government officials should ensure that the interests of the community are represented during all stages of the negotiation. This requires the government to:
When overseeing the initial stages of contract negotiation between the community and the investing business, the government should adhere to best practices for responsible contracting. Although this guidebook provides a general overview of the process, other experts in this field have compiled more robust resources to facilitate capacity building and understanding around key principles for responsible contracting. Two of the best sources for this information are:
A Letter of Intent (LOI) mapping out expectations for appropriate inclusivity, consultation and consent is an important starting point for the contracting process between the business and the community.[iv] The LOI outlines the principles that will govern the rest of the contracting process.
Several factors could inhibit communities and/or individual land holders and users from participating as informed and empowered contracting parties. Omitting or limiting the involvement of the full community contravenes principles of good contracting. Given this, the government should:
Important elements to consider when drafting an LOI and the resulting contract are listed in Supplemental Resource: Key Contract Elements. In addition, the LOI should include:
A sample Letter of Intent can be found in Supplemental Resource: Template for LOI/MOU.
If contract negotiations have materially changed the project concept, the government and business should update investment agreements to reflect those changes.
After these revisions, the government should consult Supplemental Resource: Final Contract Checklist, as well as due diligence research and international best practices guidance, to ensure that the contract complies with relevant standards.
[ii] African Union, Guiding Principles on Large Scale Land Based Investments in Africa 15-16 (2014).
[iii] VGGT, supra note i, at 23.
[iv] While this model guidebook recommends the use of an LOI, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or a Terms Sheet may serve a similar function.
Good contracting practices require that the contracting process remain transparent and participatory and that all community members be brought to an equal footing with investing companies and governments.
This means that:
The contract should not be signed before support is obtained from all stakeholders.[ii] If communities do not support the project, it cannot legitimately proceed.
The business should be required to submit documents related to any investment to the appropriate government authority. Because domestic laws and policies will play a key role in the development and implementation of a contract, the legitimization and enforcement of the LOI will occur with and through national and local government authorities.
The project documentation should ideally include all potentially relevant information around the investment. The Governmental Investment Agency, along with other appropriate institutions, should review:
Consent must be provided before project implementation begins. The government and the business should hold a final community meeting to ratify and memorialize the community’s decision to halt or proceed.
When the land is government-owned, the government should provide the community with final notice of intent to transfer it over to the business enterprise.
Additional cycles of sensitization, consultation and engagement might need to occur to the extent that public comment signifies demand. At the most basic level, an oversight and consultation committee should be formed and comprised of representatives of the business, appropriate local officials and community leaders to monitor the process.[vi]
The final contract should be signed by the parties who were identified in the LOI and contract negotiation process, or by those who have replaced them in the case of death, illness, or migration. To support transparency and clear communication among all stakeholders, the final signing of the contract should be well-documented and witnessed by as many people as possible. Representatives from each major community group identified from the community in consultation process in Phase 2 of this guidebook should also sign the contract as witnesses. Photographs and video are common ways of documenting final contract signing events.
If the community is not an actual party to the agreement - which could be the case in some countries – it is critical that the business sign an LOI or MOU with the community as discussed in the previous task. Additionally, as is true throughout this process, the government should make all possible efforts to include the community and ensure that its interests are represented.
Once the investment contract has been finalized and signed, the appropriate local officials should assist the business to make copies available to affected community members for review and validation.[vii] Copies should be distributed and/or publicly posted in local languages, taking care to ensure that copies are accessible to affected women, migrants and other vulnerable groups.
[i] See USAID, Operational Guidelines for Responsible Land-Based Investment 51 (2015).
[ii] Agence Française de Developpement, Guide to Due Diligence of Agribusiness Projects that Affect Land and Property Rights 24 (2014), available at https://www.landportal.org/library/resources/mokoro6042/guide-due-diligence-agribusiness-projects-affect-land-and-property.
[iii] See UN-REDD Programme, Guidelines on Free, Prior and Informed Consent 20 (2013).
[iv] Agence Française de Developpement, Guide to Due Diligence of Agribusiness Projects that Affect Land and Property Rights 24 (2014)..
[v] UN-REDD Programme, supra note i, at 20.
[vi] See USAID, Operational Guidelines for Responsible Land-Based Investment (2015).
[vii] See FAO, Respecting Free, Prior and Informed Consent 43 (Governance of Tenure Technical Guide 3 2014).
This section of the guidebook discusses the importance of implementing the project in accordance with the agreement and monitoring and evaluating impacts in the community.
Land-related issues that escalate to a significant dispute between a community and business can create reputational and financial risk for the operation. The government can help to mitigate this risk by taking a proactive role in preventing and deescalating potential disputes. Appropriate local officials should support open and frequent communication and engagement with both the business and the community to ensure that the investment is monitored and implemented responsibly. This will help the business maintain a productive relationship with community members and local officials which in turn will strengthen the company’s “social license to operate” within communities.[i]
Guidance in this section can be applied to:
While the government maintains its role as the guarantor of the community’s rights, it is important that the business take responsibility for resolving disputes that arise in the course of the investment. In order to maintain the community’s trust the government should ensure the business:
Commitments made to the community in a contract or other agreement must be strictly met, and unanticipated impacts and concerns must be identified and addressed as soon as possible. The government should help to ensure that the business adheres to the best practices for land related grievance resolution as described in this task.
[i] See USAID, Operational Guidelines for Responsible Land-Based Investment 50 (2015).
[ii] See FAO, Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance of Tenure, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of Food Security 4 (2012); New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, Analytical Framework for Responsible Land-Based Agricultural Investment (2015), available at https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=https://new-alliance.org/sites/default/files/resources/Analytical-framework-for-land-based-investments-in-African-agriculture_0.pdf; UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights 31-32 (UN Human Rights Council 2011).
Perhaps the biggest challenge with implementation is that it will almost inevitably involve problems that were not anticipated during project planning, negotiation, and contracting. Even the most diligent preparation and community engagement cannot account for all potential challenges.
Continued engagement with communities throughout project implementation is therefore essential to maintaining a productive relationship with the local community and identifying implementation challenges and unanticipated impacts as early as possible.[i] This is particularly important for longer-term projects, as there is a higher likelihood that activities will deviate from the initial plan as implementation proceeds and unanticipated challenges arise.
In addition to considering the common issues that arise during the implementation of an investment, it is important for the business to maintain consistent communication with the community and other stakeholders. Multiple channels of two-way communication should be established to facilitate clear, well-planned and frequent consultation and engagement with communities.[ii] Approaches should address how women face particular barriers to accessing information and participating in consultations.[iii] The government should encourage communication between the business and the community that is structured to:
Government agencies dealing with land investment should review the business’s communication practices to ensure that they meet these standards. The government can also assist by providing technical support in translating and distributing communication materials, and by helping to promote educational initiatives.
A factor central to responsible investment in land is whether a company ensures access to remedy by establishing a functioning, effective and accessible grievance mechanism for handling land-related disputes.[v] Guidance relating to responsible land-based investment emphasizes the need for company-based, non-judicial grievance mechanisms to complement any existing state-based, judicial grievance mechanisms, particularly where governance gaps are significant. Consult the Grievance Mechanism Primer for more guidance when carrying out this step.
Appropriate local officials should support the community in determining how the grievance mechanism should be coordinated through the business and holding the business accountable for dispute resolution where appropriate. The mechanism should comply with the UNGP criteria for non-state dispute resolution processes. Consult Supplemental Resource: Grievance Mechanism Checklist for guidance on whether the business is complying with the following criteria:
[i] See USAID, Operational Guidelines for Responsible Land-Based Investment 50 (2015).
[ii] See Landesa, Case Study: Kilombero Sugar Company Ltd. in Tanzania 4 (2017), available at https://www.landesa.org/wp-content/uploads/KSCL-Tanzania-Case-Study-FINAL.pdf.
[iv] Id. at 20.
[v] See FAO, Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance of Tenure, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of Food Security 4 (2012) (“Business enterprises should act with due diligence to avoid infringing on the human rights and legitimate tenure rights of others.”); UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights 5 (UN Human Rights Council 2011) (“In order to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for how they address their adverse human rights impacts, business enterprises should carry out human rights due diligence. The process should include assessing actual and potential human rights impacts, integrating and acting upon the findings, tracking responses, and communicating how impacts are addressed.”).
[vi] USAID, supra note i, at 53.
Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) is essential to successful implementation of a responsible investment. In addition to helping the business earn and maintain a social license to operate, M&E can alert the business to the loss of its social license and can provide the information needed to reestablish it, and it can also provide ways of managing core business risks. There are three primary reasons for a company to dedicate time and resources to M&E:
In short, the business must practice M&E for the life of the investment to track and address its impacts upon the communities and individual smallholders that have changed their relationship to the land for the benefit of the enterprise. The government should ensure that the business designs and implements a thorough and robust M&E plan (see M&E Primer).
By conducting regular M&E activities, the business will be able to identify implementation challenges and unanticipated impacts earlier than they otherwise might.[i] This is particularly important for longer-term projects, as there is a higher likelihood that activities will deviate from the initial plan as implementation proceeds and unanticipated challenges arise. For more information on the standards that the business should be pursuing, review the Model RIPL Guidebook for Business Enterprises. Below are principles for M&E that the business should be adhering to throughout the life cycle of the investment.
Throughout the lifecycle of the investment, the business entity should commission and publish reports that assess the impact of investment activities on the community, particularly with respect to vulnerable populations such as women, indigenous peoples, and ethnic or religious minorities.
In accordance with its M&E plan, the business should assess social and environmental impact to monitor the effects of the project on the surrounding community. To ensure accountability and transparency, these assessments should be conducted by reputable third parties and based on international standards for human rights and responsible investments. More frequent assessments create more opportunities for adaptation and mitigation, but this benefit should be balanced against the feasibility of thorough assessment on a compressed timeline.This process of ensuring responsible investment may seem time consuming or costly in the short term, but it has the potential to pay important dividends of sustainable growth, increased investment, and protection of rights in the long term.
[i] See USAID, Operational Guidelines for Responsible Land-Based Investment 50 (2015).
[ii] FAO, Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance of Tenure, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of Food Security 39 (2012).
[iii] African Union, Guiding Principles on Large Scale Land Based Investments in Africa 25 -26 (2014). See also UNESCO, A Guide for Monitoring and Evaluating Community-Based Projects (2009), available at http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001862/186231e.pdf.
[iv] UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights 19 (UN Human Rights Council 2011).
All of the phases have resources and tools to help you translate best practices to the specific needs, risks, and opportunities of your agricultural investment project.
The purpose of this slide deck is to communicate to government officials best practices for responsible investments, the responsibilities of businesses under international standards, and how governments can support businesses to meet those standards. This presentation is intended to serve as a template to support the communication of key principles for respecting land rights that companies should adhere to beyond domestic laws and policies.
This resource is primarily intended for use by communities looking to enhance their governance structures to support responsible investment; government officials may also use it to help communities identify a focal point for engagement with investors.
Use this questionnaire alongside the guidebook to support due diligence on potential investment sites.
Use this checklist alongside the guidebook to support productive, meaningful and participatory consultations with community leaders and communities. This checklist is designed to support the initial introduction and consultation with a community and its leaders, although some meeting best practices can be adapted to other community meetings.
This is a template for creating a letter of intent or memorandum of understanding between the business and the community or the government.
The external resources summarized here provide guidance and discuss best practices for establishing outgrower arrangements as a method of compensation or alternative to outright land purchase or lease.
This resource provides guidance on the terms and elements that should be contained within the Letter of Intent (LOI) and final contract between the company and community, as well as within any lease agreement between the business enterprise and the government.
This checklist should be used when preparing and reviewing the final contract
This resource provides a template for designing a strategy for ongoing community engagement and two checklists for evaluating the community engagement plan based on established standards for stakeholder communication.
This resource provides a high-level checklist for evaluating the company-based grievance mechanism developed by the business in the course of a responsible land investment.