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Covid-19 And Land-Based Investment: Changing Landscapes, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Nathaniah Jacobs, Clarisse Marsac May 2021

Covid-19 And Land-Based Investment: Changing Landscapes, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Nathaniah Jacobs, Clarisse Marsac

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

CCSI, IIED, and Namati are partnering on a new initiative to support governments, civil society, local communities, and private sector actors in improving the governance and practices of land-based investments.

Recognizing that more and better private sector investment is widely seen as critical to advancing economic development and achieving the SDGs in low- and middle-income countries, this initiative responds to concerns that land-based investments have resulted in land dispossession, environmental degradation, and conflict.

The Advancing Land-based Investment Governance (ALIGN) project involves:

  • Sustained, in-depth work in up to three countries, including Sierra Leone, to support policy development and implementation, legal empowerment ...


Transparency Of Land-Based Investments: Cameroon Country Snapshot, Sam Szoke-Burke, Samuel Nguiffo, Stella Tchoukep Mar 2021

Transparency Of Land-Based Investments: Cameroon Country Snapshot, Sam Szoke-Burke, Samuel Nguiffo, Stella Tchoukep

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Despite a recent transparency law and participation in transparency initiatives, Cameroon’s investment environment remains plagued by poor transparency.

In a new report focusing on agribusiness projects in Cameroon, CCSI and the Centre pour l’Environnement et le Développement (CED) find that:

  • Communities continue to be excluded from decision-making around investments.
  • The government pursues a top-down approach to concession allocation and remains reluctant to recognize all legitimate tenure rights.
  • The government faces threats to its legitimacy as the grievances of citizens and investors alike lead to the barring of roads by communities and investor withdrawals.

CCSI and CED therefore call ...


Transparency For Whom? Grounding Land Investment Transparency In The Needs Of Local Actors, Sam Szoke-Burke Mar 2021

Transparency For Whom? Grounding Land Investment Transparency In The Needs Of Local Actors, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Transparency is often seen as a means of improving governance and accountability of investment, but its potential to do so is hindered by vague definitions and failures to focus on the needs of key local actors.

In this new report focusing on agribusiness, forestry, and renewable energy projects (“land investments”), CCSI grounds transparency in the needs of project-affected communities and other local actors. Transparency efforts that seek to inform and empower communities can also help governments, companies, and other actors to more effectively manage operational risk linked to social conflict.

Troublingly, the report finds that:

  • Disclosures around land investments continue ...


Free, Prior And Informed Consent: Addressing Political Realities To Improve Impact, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Leila Kazemi Oct 2020

Free, Prior And Informed Consent: Addressing Political Realities To Improve Impact, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Leila Kazemi

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Indigenous and Tribal peoples’ right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) has transformative potential. Yet, there is a considerable gap between the theory and what happens in practice. Global actors supporting recognition of FPIC and effective prior consultation processes usually focus on normative standards and best practices. They concentrate much less on addressing the political challenges and opportunities that shape how these processes unfold.

With funding from the Ford Foundation, we looked at the politics of FPIC in Latin America, analyzing how the power and interests of the key players–across governments, companies and indigenous peoples–can determine the ...


Equipping The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation For The Low-Carbon Transition: How Are Other National Oil Companies Adapting?, Perrine Toledano, Martin Dietrich Brauch, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Francisco Javier Pardinas Favela Sep 2020

Equipping The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation For The Low-Carbon Transition: How Are Other National Oil Companies Adapting?, Perrine Toledano, Martin Dietrich Brauch, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Francisco Javier Pardinas Favela

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) persistent governance challenges have both hampered Nigeria’s oil sector development and deprived the country of public resources. The oil, climate, and COVID-19 crises and the ramp-up of the low-carbon transition exacerbate this reality, with the national oil company (NOC) delivering sub-optimal returns to its stakeholders.

Other NOCs have taken meaningful steps to become players in the low-carbon energy transition domestically or in­ternationally – for example, Sau­di Arabia’s Saudi Aramco, Norway’s Equinor, Brazil’s Petrobras, Malaysia’s Petronas, and Algeria’s Sonatrach. These NOCs can serve as sources of inspiration ...


Don’T Throw Caution To The Wind: In The Green Energy Transition, Not All Critical Minerals Will Be Goldmines, Perrine Toledano, Martin Dietrich Brauch, Solina Kennedy, Howard Mann Jul 2020

Don’T Throw Caution To The Wind: In The Green Energy Transition, Not All Critical Minerals Will Be Goldmines, Perrine Toledano, Martin Dietrich Brauch, Solina Kennedy, Howard Mann

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The green energy transition will be exceedingly mineral intensive. Manufacturing solar panels, wind turbine and batteries to power cleaner energies is set to significantly increase the demand for co-called “critical” minerals. Such a forecast prompts high expectations in mineral-rich countries and suggests promising opportunities for developing countries.

However, the projects to increase the primary extraction of critical minerals rest on bullish forecasts and uncertain terrain due to a number of factors explored in the paper that threaten to leave these investments obsolete and economically stranded.

Governments, international actors, and mining advocates seeking to optimize the value of green energy mineral ...


Submission To Bonsucro Re Production Standard V5 (2019-21), Nami Patel, Sam Szoke-Burke Jul 2020

Submission To Bonsucro Re Production Standard V5 (2019-21), Nami Patel, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In July 2020, CCSI made a formal submission to Bonsucro, an international multi-stakeholder initiative and certification scheme concerned with promoting sustainable sugar cane production. The submission formed part of consultations for Bonsucro’s draft Production Standard version 5. CCSI’s submission focused on challenges associated with implementing, and auditing for compliance with, three aspects of Bonsucro’s draft standard, namely:

  • Obtaining the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of Indigenous and traditional communities when establishing or expanding sugar production operations
  • Implementing transparent and participatory processes to assess, monitor, and evaluate the environmental and social impacts of new and existing projects ...


Incorporating Free, Prior And Informed Consent (Fpic) Into Investment Approval Processes, Kelly Dudine, Sam Szoke-Burke Jul 2020

Incorporating Free, Prior And Informed Consent (Fpic) Into Investment Approval Processes, Kelly Dudine, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Investment approval processes are the gateway through which governments set the agenda for their country’s investment environment. Yet too often these processes fail to incorporate meaningful requirements regarding participation in decision-making by Indigenous and other affected communities, increasing the risk of under-performing and conflict-ridden investments.

Enabling meaningful participation by rights holders and obtaining and maintaining their Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) throughout different investment approval processes can help governments to fulfill their legal obligations, mitigate financial and political risk, and, ultimately, attract more sustainable land-based investments.

Featuring concrete guidance and drawing on case studies from Kenya, Liberia, Mexico ...


Mechanisms For Consultation And Free, Prior And Informed Consent In The Negotiation Of Investment Contracts, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Jun 2020

Mechanisms For Consultation And Free, Prior And Informed Consent In The Negotiation Of Investment Contracts, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Investor-state contracts are regularly used in low-and middle-income countries to grant concessions for land-based and natural resource investments, such as agricultural, extractive industry, forestry, or renewable energy projects. These contracts are rarely negotiated in the presence of, or with meaningful input from, the people who risk being adversely affected by the project. This practice will usually risk violating requirements for meaningful consultation, and, where applicable, free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), and is particularly concerning when the investor-state contract gives the investor company rights to lands or resources over which local communities have legitimate claims.

This article explores how consultation ...


Best Practices In Data Driven Development Planning In Mining Regions, Nicolas Maennling, Josefina Correa Jun 2020

Best Practices In Data Driven Development Planning In Mining Regions, Nicolas Maennling, Josefina Correa

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Strategic development planning has long been used by private and public sectors to guide actions that will lead to a determined goal in the medium- to long-term. The SDG framework has helped to create a common language of what development means, what the global objectives are by 2030, and how progress can be measured. With the world entering an era in which data is generated and used at an unprecedented scale, data and ICT systems should be used to better inform policy decision making and help evaluate progress to hold stakeholders accountable to their promises and performance. This report outlines ...


A Review Of Sierra Leone’S Mines And Minerals Act, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Perrine Toledano, Sophie Thomashausen Mar 2020

A Review Of Sierra Leone’S Mines And Minerals Act, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Perrine Toledano, Sophie Thomashausen

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

With the support of Oxfam, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment reviewed select provisions in the Mines and Minerals Act 2009 and corresponding policy statements from the Minerals Policy 2018 to provide recommendations for how to best align the anticipated new mining law with international best practice. The 2009 law was reviewed with a focus on the following topics:

  • Fiscal regime;
  • Climate change;
  • Access to and use of land;
  • Community consultations and participation;
  • Human rights; and
  • Community development agreements.

The policy brief aims to support the Government of Sierra Leone in the ongoing law reform process.


Electric Utility Alignment With The Sdgs & The Paris Climate Agreement, Perrine Toledano, Aniket Shah, Nicolas Maennling, Ryan J. Lasnick Feb 2020

Electric Utility Alignment With The Sdgs & The Paris Climate Agreement, Perrine Toledano, Aniket Shah, Nicolas Maennling, Ryan J. Lasnick

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda poses a unique and critical challenge to the energy sector: how to scale access to clean energy to power sustainable, economic development for a growing population, while simultaneously decarbonizing global energy supply. Expanding access to clean energy will play a crucial role in achieving nearly every one of the Sustainable Development Goals, including those related to agricultural production, health outcomes, educational performance, water systems, access to infrastructure, and reducing inequalities. However, practices by some actors in the energy sector, and continued over-reliance on greenhouse gas-intensive fossil fuels also undermine global efforts to mitigate climate change ...


Environmental Injustice: How Treaties Undermine Human Rights Related To The Environment, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson, Ella Merrill Jan 2020

Environmental Injustice: How Treaties Undermine Human Rights Related To The Environment, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson, Ella Merrill

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Growing cries for action to effectively address the climate and other environmental crises hold important implications for the governance of cross-border investments. Policymakers and environmental advocates have often overlooked how provisions granted by states in international investment agreements (IIAs) have been used by investors to challenge government measures taken in the public interest to protect the environment and advance environmental justice.

This 2019 paper, published in the Sciences Po Legal Review issue devoted to the climate crisis, explains how the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism, made available to investors in thousands of bilateral and multilateral trade and investment agreements, may ...


Legal Frameworks & Foreign Investment: A Primer On Governments’ Obligations, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson, Sam Szoke-Burke, Rumbidzaii Mawen Nov 2019

Legal Frameworks & Foreign Investment: A Primer On Governments’ Obligations, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson, Sam Szoke-Burke, Rumbidzaii Mawen

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Legal frameworks, and how they interact, are often invisible in the day to day. Yet they are powerful forces that influence government actions and that help to shape who benefits and who loses from foreign investment. Understanding these legal frameworks, and how they interact, is critical for anyone concerned with how foreign investment can be better harnessed to support, rather than weaken, sustainable development and human rights.

This primer provides a brief overview of host government obligations under international investment law, international human rights law, domestic law, and relevant investor-state contracts. It also highlights some of the ways in which ...


Outcome Report On The Climate Crisis, Global Land Use And Human Rights Conference, Mateusz Kasprowicz, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Nov 2019

Outcome Report On The Climate Crisis, Global Land Use And Human Rights Conference, Mateusz Kasprowicz, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

On September 27th, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Landesa, the New York City Bar Association International Environmental Law Committee, and Wake Forest Law School hosted a day-long conference on the intersection between land use, the climate crisis and clean energy transition, and human rights.

Held at the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice, the conference brought together individuals from civil society organizations, governments, and academia, as well as lawyers, climate scientists, land-rights experts, indigenous representatives and other stakeholder groups. The panelists analyzed the critical role that land plays in achieving ...


Agricultural Investments: A Primer For Host Government Lawyers And Local Lawyers In Private Practice, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye Oct 2019

Agricultural Investments: A Primer For Host Government Lawyers And Local Lawyers In Private Practice, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Attracting investment in agriculture has been a key policy goal of governments in the global south. Development partners have supported these policies. But what do governments hope to achieve by attracting investment in the agricultural sector? Why are companies interested in investing? What is in it for local communities? And what is the role of lawyers? This primer provides an introduction to some of the key issues that arise in the negotiation of contracts linked to investments in agriculture, and practical guidance for how to approach common issues. Section 1 of this primer outlines the typical goals of three important ...


Briefing For Civil Society Organizations – Understanding Commercial Eucalyptus Plantations: How Do They Work And What Are Their Environmental Impacts?, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Jul 2019

Briefing For Civil Society Organizations – Understanding Commercial Eucalyptus Plantations: How Do They Work And What Are Their Environmental Impacts?, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

If a company wants to use a community’s land for eucalyptus plantations, the community should think carefully about whether this is a good idea. Civil society organizations that support communities can use this briefing to help communities understand the potential environmental impacts the community should be aware of. The briefing explains plantation forestry and the life-cycle of eucalyptus tree plantations. It also notes the different possible negative environmental impacts of eucalyptus plantations before exploring how this information can be factored into community decision-making about a proposed eucalyptus plantation. While the briefing focuses on eucalyptus plantations, a lot of it ...


Innovative Financing Solutions For Community Support In The Context Of Land Investments, Sam Szoke-Burke Mar 2019

Innovative Financing Solutions For Community Support In The Context Of Land Investments, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Communities affected by agricultural, forestry, and other resource investments urgently need increased funding for legal and technical support. Without support, communities risk losing access to critical land and resources, suffering human rights violations, or missing opportunities to benefit from investments. A lack of community support can also lead to conflict and challenges that are damaging for companies and host governments.

Donors and support providers have found ways to finance support for communities, but such efforts can only extend so far. Promising new opportunities exist for filling the financing gap, yet they will require sustained efforts by a range of actors ...


Bridging The Information Gap: How Access To Land Contracts Can Serve Community Rights, Lara Wallis, Sam Szoke-Burke Jan 2019

Bridging The Information Gap: How Access To Land Contracts Can Serve Community Rights, Lara Wallis, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Land contracts (also known as investor-state contracts, or concession agreements) show what commitments a forestry, farming or renewable energy company has made and what the government has said the company can do on the land. These promises define the positive and harmful effects the company’s project could have on community members’ livelihoods and human rights, and on the environment.

Accessing land contracts is a crucial strategy for local organizations. This briefing note explains how local organizations can use land contracts and the Open Land Contracts repository (OpenLandContracts.org) to help communities to:

  • Understand company and government obligations related to ...


How International Oil Companies Could Assist Greece To Achieve The Sustainable Development Goals: A Conversation Starter, Alexandra Sdoukou, Andreas Tornaritis, Perrine Toledano Jan 2019

How International Oil Companies Could Assist Greece To Achieve The Sustainable Development Goals: A Conversation Starter, Alexandra Sdoukou, Andreas Tornaritis, Perrine Toledano

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

This policy paper wishes to be a timely contribution towards a fruitful debate among stakeholders; it urges International Oil Companies (IOCs) to examine how the critical Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for Greece can be integrated into their core business so that the oil and gas industry can contribute to the country’s sustainable growth.


The Renewable Power Of The Mine, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano Dec 2018

The Renewable Power Of The Mine, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Access to affordable and reliable energy is key for the mining sector and with rising demand for minerals and falling ore grades, energy demand is estimated to increase by 36% by 2035. Today, energy produced and procured by mining companies is mostly fossil fuel based. This will have to change if the sector is to contribute to the decarbonization of the world economy, needed for countries to meet the target adopted at the Paris Agreement of keeping global temperatures from rising more than 1.5-2 degrees Celsius.

At the same time, the costs of solar, wind and battery storage systems ...


How International Oil Companies Could Assist The Republic Of Cyprus To Achieve The Sustainable Development Goals: A Conversation Starter, Andreas Tornaritis, Perrine Toledano Oct 2018

How International Oil Companies Could Assist The Republic Of Cyprus To Achieve The Sustainable Development Goals: A Conversation Starter, Andreas Tornaritis, Perrine Toledano

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

This policy paper is addressed to International Oil Companies (IOCs), public officials and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) involved in the natural gas industry in Cyprus. There is currently no conversation happening in Cyprus on how the oil and gas industry could help Cyprus achieve their Sustainable Development Goals. Therefore, this paper hopes to initiate a debate and conversation around this topic. It provides an overview of the ways in which IOCs operating in Cyprus could contribute towards the sustainable development of the natural gas industry and assist the Republic of Cyprus to achieve a number of their 2030 Sustainable Development Goals ...


Agricultural Investments Under International Investment Law, Jesse Coleman, Sarah Brewin, Thierry Berger Oct 2018

Agricultural Investments Under International Investment Law, Jesse Coleman, Sarah Brewin, Thierry Berger

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

International investment law, based primarily on international investment treaties, plays an important role in the governance of investment in agriculture, forestry, and fishing. The obligations established by these treaties, and enforced by means of investor–state arbitration, can present challenges for policy-makers and others seeking to ensure that investments are sustainable, including by affecting the ways in which the costs and benefits of investments are distributed among different actors.

CCSI partnered with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) to produce a briefing note on agricultural investments under international investment law ...


Community-Investor Negotiation Guide 2: Negotiating Contracts With Investors, Sam Szoke-Burke, Rachael Knight, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Marena Brinkhurst Sep 2018

Community-Investor Negotiation Guide 2: Negotiating Contracts With Investors, Sam Szoke-Burke, Rachael Knight, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Marena Brinkhurst

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Deciding whether or not to allow an investor to use community lands and natural resources is one of the most important decisions a community can make. If an investment project is carried out in a respectful and inclusive way, it may help community members to achieve their development goals, which may include creating jobs and local economic opportunities. But investments come with risks. Investment projects may make the land that community members need for farming and other livelihood activities unavailable for some time. They may pollute local rivers, lakes, air, and soils, or block access to sacred areas or water ...


Community-Investor Negotiation Guide 1: Preparing In Advance For Potential Investors, Rachael Knight, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Sam Szoke-Burke, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Marena Brinkhurst Sep 2018

Community-Investor Negotiation Guide 1: Preparing In Advance For Potential Investors, Rachael Knight, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Sam Szoke-Burke, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Marena Brinkhurst

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Deciding whether or not to allow an investor to use community lands and natural resources is one of the most important decisions a community can make. If an investment project is carried out in a respectful and inclusive way, it may help community members to achieve their development goals, which may include creating jobs and local economic opportunities. But investments come with risks. Investment projects may make the land that community members need for farming and other livelihood activities unavailable for some time. They may pollute local rivers, lakes, air, and soils, or block access to sacred areas or water ...


Governing Land Investments: Do Governments Have Legal Support Gaps?, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Aug 2018

Governing Land Investments: Do Governments Have Legal Support Gaps?, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In the wave of efforts to encourage and support more “responsible” land investments, one aspect has been largely overlooked: are governments equipped with the legal and technical support needed to effectively negotiate and conclude investment contracts that lead to responsible outcomes?

CCSI researched how host governments access legal support in the planning, negotiation, and monitoring of land investments, with a view to better understanding where legal support gaps for governments exist, and how these can be addressed by governments themselves, as well as by donors, support providers and investors.

By scrutinizing “legal support gaps,” CCSI sought to identify possible weak ...


Implementing The Ahafo Benefit Agreements: Seeking Meaningful Community Participation At Newmont’S Ahafo Gold Mine In Ghana, Benjamin Boakye, Maggie M. Cascadden, Jordan Kuschminder, Sam Szoke-Burke, Eric Werker Jul 2018

Implementing The Ahafo Benefit Agreements: Seeking Meaningful Community Participation At Newmont’S Ahafo Gold Mine In Ghana, Benjamin Boakye, Maggie M. Cascadden, Jordan Kuschminder, Sam Szoke-Burke, Eric Werker

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In 2008, ten communities in the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana entered into agreements with Newmont Ghana to govern company-community relations, ensure local job creation, and share the benefits of the company’s mining operations. Ten years later, this report, co-authored by Canadian International Resources and Development Institute (CIRDI), African Center for Energy Policy (ACEP), CCSI, and ISP, looks at the communities’ experience of those agreements and suggests how the agreements might be improved. Though the agreements were celebrated for their attempts to include all stakeholders in decision-making, challenges remain around representation, consultation, and participation. New entities established to facilitate ...


Governing Land Investments: Do Governments Have Legal Support Gaps?, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Mar 2018

Governing Land Investments: Do Governments Have Legal Support Gaps?, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In the wave of efforts to encourage and support more “responsible” land investments, one aspect has been largely overlooked: are governments equipped with the legal and technical support needed to effectively negotiate and conclude investment contracts that lead to responsible outcomes?

CCSI researched how host governments access legal support in the planning, negotiation, and monitoring of land investments, with a view to better understanding where legal support gaps for governments exist, and how these can be addressed by governments themselves, as well as by donors, support providers and investors.

By scrutinizing “legal support gaps,” CCSI sought to identify possible weak ...


Comments On The World Bank’S Draft Guidance Note For Borrowers Ess5: Land Acquisition, Restrictions On Land Use And Involuntary Resettlement, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Dec 2017

Comments On The World Bank’S Draft Guidance Note For Borrowers Ess5: Land Acquisition, Restrictions On Land Use And Involuntary Resettlement, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In December 2017, CCSI sent comments to the World Bank regarding its Draft Guidance Note for Borrowers ESS5: Land Acquisition, Restrictions on Land Use and Involuntary Resettlement.

CCSI’s overarching comments on the Guidance Note were that:

  • Its description of affected persons and their rights contradicts and undermines international consensus on land governance supported by the Bank
  • It fails to provide any guidance on when involuntary resettlement should be considered unavoidable or how Borrowers can prioritize project designs that actually minimize displacement or other harms
  • It fails to put rights-holders (or “affected stakeholders”) at the center of solutions
  • Its discussion ...


At The Intersection Of Land Grievances And Legal Liability: The Need To Reconsider Contract Rights And Expectations At The Supranational Level, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson, Sam Szoke-Burke Dec 2017

At The Intersection Of Land Grievances And Legal Liability: The Need To Reconsider Contract Rights And Expectations At The Supranational Level, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

This Article explores how host governments’ legal obligations can affect or constrain their ability to address “land grievances,” which are defined as concerns raised by local individuals or communities in response to negative impacts of land-based investments. Obligations under international investment law, international human rights law, and investor-state contracts can be in tension or can directly conflict with one another, creating complexity for governments seeking to respond to land grievances. To explore the legal considerations that governments must navigate in this context, this Article considers several options that governments could pursue to respond to land grievances. In all of the ...