The nature and scale of investments in land in developing countries has divided opinion many contexts, especially where local people depend on access to land for agriculture. Large-scale land investments that require a transfer of rights raise difficult questions, given their potential negative impacts on existing land users and local communities - leading in some cases to charges of “land grabbing” - and the financial and reputational risks to investors themselves. Consequently, the idea of “responsible land investment” that mitigates the land rights related risks to local communities and productive businesses by designing projects around the recognized legitimate land rights of local people is gaining ground as a critical sustainability factor for businesses in the agricultural, extractive and infrastructure sectors.
Given the importance of delivering up to date data, information and tools relevant to land investments to business investors, affected communities and development practitioners, the Land Portal Foundation is launching a new Thematic Portfolio on Land and Investments. This portfolio, developed in partnership with the LEGEND program and Natural Resources Institute at the University of Greenwich, provides improved access to data and information on land investments and brings together resources that can be used for better informed decision making processes on new and ongoing land investments to ensure they are responsible, by recognizing and protecting people’s legitimate land rights.
“Land investments should contribute to responsible growth and sustainable development that are respectful of affected communities” said Laura Meggiolaro, Land Portal Team Leader. “At the Land Portal, we believe that increasing access to data, information and tools on land investments will lead to more responsible investments globally.”
The newly revamped portfolio provides direct access to 10 land and investments datasets, 1,992 publications and resources related to land investments, 222 blogs and news items as well as 79 organizations around the world working on land investments.
An important key addition to this portfolio is a compendium of information and resources on 8 key practical lessons emerging from recent responsible land investment pilot projects in African countries, which businesses and investors need to take into account to invest responsibly in agricultural land.
Also featured in the revamped portfolio is the Responsible Land-Based Investment Navigator, which aims to help private businesses in different industry and commodity sectors identify and access the practical tools and guides that are most relevant to their work. It enables operating companies, lenders and investors, buyers, service providers and specialist advisors to navigate through the growing range of responsible investment and sustainability guidance, resources and tools on business to access those that are directly relevant to their specific businesses.
This work is funded by the UK Department of International Development (DFID) as part of the Land: Enhancing Governance for Economic Development (LEGEND) program, which is dedicated to improving the quality and impact of land investments so they contribute sustainably to growth while safeguarding rights and opportunities for poor people, rural and urban, and especially women.
Laura Meggiolaro, Team Leader, Land Portal Foundation
FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR TO ARRANGE INTERVIEWS, CONTACT:
Neil Sorensen, Land Portal Foundation, firstname.lastname@example.org, +33.641668648
ABOUT THE LAND PORTAL FOUNDATION:
The Land Portal aims to help data and information providers to create, curate and disseminate land governance data and information to become part of a more inclusive, friendly and accessible information landscape. Our mission is to build an information ecosystem for land governance that enables and supports better informed decision and policy making at national and international levels.