Contextualizing International Voluntary Guidelines into Country Specific Land Investment Governance: Experience from Tanzania
Tanzania Natural Resource Forum, Tanzania
This preliminary study involved consultation of responsible district government officials and relevant Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on various issues related to land and investments. Among other areas, the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) was selected as a study site and study used the Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) to obtain information. Questionnaire designed reflected land investment governance process thematic areas. This ranged from investment pre-planning and organization stage, negotiation and preparation of investments contracts to implementation of investments.
Throughout this paper, different issues are discussed including but not limited to inadequate awareness and understanding of Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) mandate and the land allocation process among land based investment stakeholders; Practices that do not adhere to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) principle; Existing compensation practices that are conducted in an inadequately and vague processes ; Dispute resolution mechanisms that are inadequately culturally sensitive and with a bias against women and evidences of weak land-based investment monitoring and evaluation system. The paper concludes that there is inadequate implementation of land investment governance good practices principles in Tanzania. The study further recommends Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and government to address highlighted gaps in land investment governance.
Experiences of Agribusiness Investments in Lao PDR
1Village Focus International; 2Ministry of Planning and Investment
Following a decade of rapid economic growth fuelled by foreign direct investment, Lao PDR (Laos) is transitioning from a policy of “turning land into capital” towards promoting “quality investment”. Underpinning this shift is a growing interest in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Responsible Agricultural Investment (RAI) across public and private sectors. However, understanding and implementation / enforcement of these concepts is limited. At the same time, cross-sector collaboration towards responsible investment remains rare. This paper examines a multi-stakeholder initiative, the RAI Working Group, which represents new territory for cross-sector collaboration and dialogue towards RAI in Laos. Key insights from the multi-stakeholder process reveal that: government plays an important role in setting standards for quality investment; investors need to go beyond compliance with domestic laws to reach international standards; community consultations prior and during investment are essential; and deeper understanding of how to implement socially and environmentally responsible business practices is required by all actors involved. The working group process showed an effective way of identifying ‘common ground’ to work towards deriving mutual benefits from RAI for national growth and sustainable development, profitability, and – most importantly – for communities affected by investments.
Private Sector Responsibilities in Agriculture under the VGGT
Land Tenure Investment Consultant, United States of America
FAO has commissioned a series of technical guides to assist those wishing to adopt and implement the relevant provisions of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT). This paper is an abbreviated version of one of the newest of those guides, one aimed at financial investors in the private sector. Entitled, “Responsible Governance of Tenure: A Technical Guide for Investors,” the guide is intended to help investors act with due diligence to achieve socially responsible and financially sustainable investments in agricultural land. The guide recognizes that, while even the best project may elicit criticism, investors who evaluate, structure, operate and monitor their investments in a way that is consistent with the VGGT are likely to create projects that do no harm, maximize benefit-sharing and yield a reasonable return on the investment. This is part of a broader objective of promoting land-based investments in agriculture that are more likely to benefit all stakeholders – investor, local community and government. The technical guide can be found at http://www.fao.org/3/a-i5147e.pdf.
How Behind the Brands companies are implementing their land rights commitments in Brazil
Coca-Cola and PepsiCo committed to ‘zero tolerance’ for land grabs in late 2013 and early 2014, respectively. Since, Oxfam has been monitoring the companies’ progress implementing their commitments and providing advice on how they can improve. Both companies have now taken an important step by assessing risks and impacts of their cane sugar sourcing on land rights in Brazil; Coca-Cola by conducting a baseline study, PepsiCo through audits. Assessment processes, when done well, help companies identify issues and steps to take to address them. Community-based human rights impact assessments are another helpful input. Oxfam commissioned an external evaluation of the companies’ efforts in order to understand their quality and ascertain how they can improve future practice. It found Coca-Cola’s baseline study was comprehensive in scope. Per a recommendation from the evaluation, Coca-Cola published elements of a plan for how it will address findings of its study, including steps to ensure suppliers adhere to its land policy. PepsiCo’s approach requires improvement, particularly around its scope, its stakeholder engagement, and disclosure. Per recommendations from the evaluation, PepsiCo recognized it needs to go further in Brazil and adopted a new approach for all future assessments based on good practice.
Pilot Use of Responsible Agricultural Investment Principles: A Status Update
1UNCTAD, Switzerland; 2World Bank, USA
The pilot testing of principles for responsible agricultural investment by investors and governments is part of a systematic programme of work being undertaken by the inter-agency working group (IAWG) of FAO, IFAD, UNCTAD and World Bank. It is intended to generate a body of empirical knowledge on responsible agricultural investment. Through this work the IAWG seeks to distill the lessons from past and current agricultural investment in order to understand “what works and what does not work” in practice for host countries, local communities, investors, and other parties impacted by agricultural investments. Bearing in mind that these findings are contingent on factors such as the scale of an investment, the crop being planted, business models or government policies in place, the lessons can be applied accordingly. This report provides the authors' interim assessment of this work.