The Social and Environmental Code of Practice (SECoP) for Responsible Commercial Agriculture in Ethiopia is designed to help investors in ensuring that their investments are inclusive, sustainable, transparent, and respect human rights. The SECoP derives from the commitment made by the Ethiopian Government to develop such guidelines for implementing agricultural investment in a responsible manner. The SECoP integrates and builds upon the efforts of several international initiatives, such as the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT), the Guiding Principles on Large Scale Land Based Investments in Africa (LSLBI), the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (RAI), as well as the Analytical Framework for Land-Based Investments in African Agriculture, and harmonizes such, by adapting the main principles to the Ethiopian context regarding its National Policies and Legal Framework. The SECoP is not meant to replace above mentioned source documents, but to distill the most important principles and best practices, and organize them into a tool that company staff, compliance managers, and other private sector professionals shall use to assess whether their investment in agriculture adheres to the environmental and social minimum standards (or excels such) throughout the life of the investment, or if not, how to address deficiencies.
The SECoP is therefore organized as follows: Chapter 1 provides an overall introduction. Chapter 2 describes the SECoP objectives, legal framework, principles and elements, content and processes related to auditing and certification. Chapter 3 outlines the roles and responsibilities regarding administration and management of the SECoP. Chapter 4 describes in detail the rules and regulations that form the SECoP standard. Annex 1-3 contain the lists of requirements and compliance criteria for each of the three compliance levels of the SECoP in a table format following the thematic structure of the nine SECoP principles. Annex 4 and 5 provide an overview of relevant national and international legislation. Annex 6-8 provides additional resources useful for the SECoP implementation and interpretation.
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