Conference Agenda

The conference agenda provides an overview and details of sessions. In order to view sessions on a specific day or for a certain room, please select an appropriate date or room link. You may also select a session to explore available abstracts and download papers and presentations.

Session Overview
14-12: Land Contracts: Tools & Strategies for Greater Transparency
Friday, 24/Mar/2017:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Location: MC 6-860

For more information or signing up, please contact


Land Contracts: Tools and Strategies for Greater Transparency and More Responsible Investments

Jesse Coleman1, Kaitlin Cordes1, Sam Szoke-Burke1, Carin Smaller2, Mohamed Coulibaly2, Francine Picard2, William Speller2

1Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, United States of America; 2International Institute for Sustainable Development, Canada

Contracts often form a crucial element of the frameworks that govern land-based investments, defining parties’ responsibilities, allocating risks and benefits, and affecting a range of socio-economic and environmental issues. Yet investment contracts for commercial agriculture and forestry projects are often negotiated without the involvement of key stakeholders, approved through opaque decision-making procedures, and rarely made publicly available. These characteristics can lead to agricultural investments that fall short of recommendations regarding responsible investment and land governance, and fail to contribute to the sustainable development objectives of host countries.

This MasterClass, co-organized by the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), will present a range of tools, strategies, and lessons learned regarding land contracts and their implications for responsible land-based investments. The Class will include: an interactive discussion of key recommendations from IISD regarding the negotiation of land contracts; an interactive presentation of; guided contracts exercise; and a Q&A session.

The MasterClass aims to provide participants with tools and knowledge to support: improved understanding and analysis of land contracts; better understanding of the implications of land-based investment projects; and more informed decision-making regarding the negotiation of land contracts.