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.
Securing Adequate Legal Defense in Proceedings under International Investment Agreements: A Scoping Study
CCSI prepared a Scoping Study on Securing Adequate Legal Defense in Proceedings under International Investment Agreements (Scoping Study) for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. Also available are: A summary version of the study (33 pages) A webinar (March 24, 2020), hosted by CCSI and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, discussed the… read more
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.
CCSI conducted a study that maps a selection of the major initiatives designed to promote good governance of the extractives sector for GIZ. The mapping describes the scope and use of each initiative and highlights areas where initiatives overlap in their approach and focus. The mapping provides recommendations on the applicability of different subsets of frameworks and initiatives to different tasks and circumstances.
This program is designed to equip participants with the necessary skills to promote the responsible development of the extractive industries sector in resource-rich developing countries and to encourage a rich dialogue about best practices from around the globe.
CCSI’s Executive Training on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture provides an interdisciplinary approach to addressing the challenges and opportunities of agricultural investments. The program is designed to equip participants with the necessary knowledge and skills to address some of the key challenges posed by international investments in agriculture, and to encourage a rich dialogue about practices from around the globe.
The program is designed for public sector officials whose responsibilities relate to investment treaty negotiation or investor-state arbitration.
Natural Resources for Sustainable Development: The Fundamentals of Oil, Gas and Mining Governance (self-paced MOOC)
CCSI, Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), the World Bank and the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) are pleased to offer a massive open online course (MOOC) on Natural Resources for Sustainable Development: The Fundamentals of Oil, Gas and Mining Governance. This MOOC, (delivered in English, with video transcripts also available in French, Spanish, Russian and Arabic),… read more
Extractive Sector: Sustainability and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (Massive Open Online Course)
Together with the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), and the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), CCSI is pleased to announce the launch of a massive open online course (MOOC) on the Extractive Sector: Sustainability and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean. This MOOC, (delivered in English, with video transcripts/subtitles and… read more
Creating an Enabling Environment for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (E-Learning)
CCSI partnered with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to develop an e-learning course, ‘Creating an enabling environment for responsible investment in agriculture and food systems,’ to provide an overview of the Committee on World Food Security’s Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS-RAI), highlight the features and key players of an enabling environment that promotes responsible investment in agriculture and food security, and unravel the important role that this investment plays in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
CCSI regularly delivers adapted versions of the Executive Training Program on Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development in various host-countries around the world.
The food sector confronts significant sustainable development challenges. It both contributes to, and suffers from, environmental degradation, especially human-induced climate change and deforestation. Although it can provide farming communities with livelihoods and incomes, it also can fuel land grabs that undermine community rights and wellbeing. The sector feeds the growing global population, but also contributes… read more
Extractive industry investments are oftentimes divisive. Those that support a project, will likely emphasize the benefits resulting from tax revenues and employment. Those that oppose the project, will often highlight the adverse impacts on the environment and impacted communities. To date, this debate can be informed by several tools. On the benefit side, stakeholders can… read more
In its current form, the international investment treaty regime may stymie the business and human rights agenda in various ways. This draft chapter, which will be published in the forthcoming Research Handbook on Human Rights and Business, provides an overview of the interaction between human rights law and the investment treaty regime and explores options for addressing the challenges that arise due to this interaction.
CCSI is researching the politics of FPIC —how the distribution of power across different actors, the (mis)alignments of their interests, and characteristics of political systems and broader structures affect whether and how FPIC processes unfold in order to surface existing strategies that account for political realities and to recommend future strategies that may lead to the improved realization of the right to FPIC.
“Universal Owners” have a clear financial interest in the enduring health of the overall economy. They can exercise their influence as shareholders to spur and support improved conduct through active shareholder and board advocacy at annual meetings.
Mine sites that are remote often rely on expensive off-grid solutions to generate power. Use of renewable energy could be a cost-reducing solution for mine sites, and CCSI is researching how to leverage the power demand from mines to deploy renewables in developing countries.
In September 2018, CCSI launched OpenCommunityContracts.org, a collection of publicly available agreements between local communities and investors. In some instances, the repository also features agreements that include host government parties. The agreements featured on the repository include benefit sharing agreements, leases, memoranda of understanding (MOUs), and revenue sharing agreements concluded in the context of agriculture, forestry, mining, oil and gas extraction, renewable energy, and other natural resource projects.
In collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, CCSI conducted a comparative study of laws that recognize customary land rights in six countries in Africa. The study was carried out to assist the Government of Sierra Leone and the Stakeholder Platform on the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure as… read more
Coffee, the world’s favorite beverage, provides livelihoods for at least 60 million people across dozens of countries. Promoting the long-term health, wellbeing, and environmental sustainability of the much beloved coffee sector should be a clear priority. Yet coffee is experiencing a sustainability crisis. A sustained decline in world coffee prices has squeezed coffee producers, and thrown… read more
The allocation of the rights to tax business profits of non-resident entities’ operations depends on whether these operations can constitute a “Permanent Establishment” (PE) according to the definition included in each DTA. CCSI’s research and brief looks at this issue in the context of extractives and provides a sample clause that optimizes the PE definition for resource rich countries.
The Executive Session on the Politics of Extractive Industries (ES on PEI) is a policy innovation lab led by a group of experts – academics and practitioners – from across the world. Focusing on PEI entails grappling with the ways in which power, interests, incentives and characteristics of political systems shape how extractive industry projects are developed, their ultimate outcomes, and often the fate of governance interventions designed to improve these. The purpose of ES on PEI is to produce practical insights and actionable strategies for addressing the political aspects of governance of the EI sector.
CCSI, together with the World Bank and Natural Resource Governance Institute, has developed ResourceContracts.org, an online, searchable and user-friendly database of publicly available oil, gas and mining contracts from around the world. Users can search contracts by country, by natural resource or by type of contract; view summaries of key social, environmental, fiscal, and operational provisions; and download full contracts.
As part of a 3-year grant from Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), CCSI worked with the Columbia Water Center to develop and benchmark a modeling platform for quantitatively assessing the environmental risks associated with gold and copper mining projects and their resulting financial implications.
CCSI has been exploring the strategies fossil fuel companies have embraced in order to address climate change concerns, and the strategies responsible investors could potentially request from fossil fuel companies in order to move towards a decarbonized economy.
CCSI is working to develop a regulatory and operational framework that would unlock the value of the Associated Petroleum Gas that is currently wasted, in order to improve energy efficiency, expand access to energy, and contribute to climate change mitigation.
CCSI examined the advantages and disadvantages of different mineral regimes (licensing regimes vs. contractual arrangements) in 18 countries around the world. For the 13 countries that used mining contracts, CCSI further examined the contract negotiation and implementation processes of 30 mining contracts as well as the relationship between those countries’ mining contracts and their legal regimes. CCSI also identified potential opportunities for external experts to support resource rich, low income countries in contract negotiations.
CCSI provides ongoing support to the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN SDSN) Thematic Group 10 on Good Governance of Extractive and Land Resources. This has included technical support on reports and documents during the development of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as development of potential indicators to measure progress toward the SDGs. In addition, CCSI and the Thematic Network have worked together on several projects to identify research gaps and generate innovative solutions.
Designing a Legal Regime to Capture Capital Gains Tax on Indirect Transfers of Mineral and Petroleum Rights: A Practical Guide
Building on the momentum created by the Platform for Collaboration on Tax’s draft paper regarding taxing indirect transfers of source country assets, CCSI and the International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP) wrote a paper providing practical guidance to developing country governments on the taxation of indirect transfers of extractive industries’ assets. Indirect transfers occur when—instead of selling the asset—the shares of the domestic subsidiary, the shares of the foreign company with a branch in the country, or the shares of the holding company are sold.
Community Development Requirements: Laws, Best Practices, and Community Development Agreements Database
CCSI has a growing portfolio of activities regarding community development requirements and community development agreements (CDAs) that includes: (i) mapping domestic legal requirements for community development in the context of mining projects; (ii) policy and research on best practices around CDAs and benefit sharing for extractive, agricultural, and forestry projects; and (iii) regularly maintained collection of publicly available community agreements relating to extractive, agricultural, and forestry projects.
Alongside growing revenue and contract transparency, increasing fiscal model transparency is needed. Only with financial model transparency can relevant actors better assess whether contracts are balanced in terms of fiscal returns and understand when revenues start flowing to the government. CCSI strongly supports financial model transparency and has developed two open fiscal models. We are currently welcoming feedback on their usefulness, user-friendliness, and on any observed inaccuracies.
This study surveyed the trend toward countries integrating competitive bidding provisions for mineral rights allocation into their national legislation and regulations, and sought to analyze the potential issues around these provisions.
In September 2015, the UN member states agreed on a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which represent the global agenda for equitable, socially inclusive, and environmentally sustainable economic development until 2030. Mining companies have the potential to become leading partners in achieving the SDGs. Through their direct operations, mining companies can generate profits, employment, and economic growth in low-income countries.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent the world’s comprehensive post-2015 agenda for equitable, socially inclusive, and environmentally sustainable economic development. Meeting the SDGs by 2030 will require unprecedented cooperation and collaboration among governments, non-governmental organizations, development partners, the private sector and communities. Unlike the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the SDG framework calls upon the private sector to incorporate the goals into its practices and operations. CCSI is working with a leading energy company to align its sustainability strategy to the SDGs.
CCSI is supporting the local governments in Huasco Province, Chile, to develop a roadmap for a long-term development strategy that will take into account the large-scale mining investment by Nueva Union, a joint venture of Teck and Goldcorp. The copper-gold mining project is expected to make up 60% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the Province during operations and will alter the socio-economic dynamics in the Province.
How International Oil Companies Could Assist Greece to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals: A Conversation Starter
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.
How International Oil Companies Could Assist the Republic of Cyprus to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals: A Conversation Starter
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.
In partnership with the World Economic Forum, CCSI curated the Transformation Map of the Mining and Metals sector; it maps out the seven drivers that are already and will continue transforming the mining and metals sector.
CCSI created and manages the Negotiation Support Portal to improve the accessibility of tools, resources and technical assistance to support host governments’ planning, preparing for, negotiating, monitoring, and implementing large-scale resource and infrastructure investments. The portal also facilitates coordination among support providers and host governments. In addition, CCSI has launched a series of meetings of negotiation support providers to create a forum to discuss common challenges and opportunities, and to facilitate greater coordination among support providers.
Renewable energy is instrumental to the success of the SDGs. But, renewable energy projects have at times undermined the achievement of the SDGs and adversely affected human rights. Given the urgency and scale at which renewables must be deployed to meet the world’s climate goals, it is especially critical that we understand their potential impacts—both positive and negative—on each SDG, to ensure that renewable energy driven development does not come at the expense of other development goals.
CCSI has launched an interview series on “company personalities” looking in particular at how a company’s personality determines its negotiation strategy, the contractual provisions it pushes for, and the overall relationship between the company and the host governments. The interviewees are senior experts who have many decades of experience in advising governments in resource rich countries.
This 2011 project examined how the vast resource deposits in the Tete province, combined with other major investments along the Nacala and Beira corridors, can be the basis for sustainable, equitable and inclusive growth in the Lower Zambezi Basin.
In partnership with the Uongozi Institute, CCSI prepared a brief that reviews recent developments in the international gas market, with particular focus on proposed offshore gas projects in Tanzania. As Tanzania positions itself to benefit from gas discoveries by increasing its domestic gas use, the brief outlines some of the trade-offs and considerations for negotiating the domestic gas allocation.
Modern forms of third party funding are no longer new to international arbitration. Recent years have seen significant increases in the number of funders, the number of funded cases, the number of law firms working with funders and the number of reported cases involving issues relating to funding. When third-party funding is used in investor-state… read more
The Think20 (T20) is an initiative that brings together research institutes and think tanks from the G20 countries to develop policy recommendations within thematic Task Forces. CCSI staff member Lise Johnson was a member of the Trade and Investment Task Force, contributing to a Policy Brief presenting recommendations for the G20’s engagement with the multilateral… read more
Investment treaties are often described as instruments aiming to (1) promote investment flows; (2) provide investors remedies for harms; (3) improve governance and the rule of law in host countries; and (4) depoliticize disputes – objectives of varying degrees of importance to multinational enterprises, home states, host states, and other stakeholders. The investor-state dispute settlement… read more
CCSI examines how investment treaties (both their substantive standards and dispute settlement mechanisms) can, do, and should impact development and implementation of environmental policy, including, but not limited to, measures related to climate change. CCSI implements this project through a range of activities. These include: reviewing all publicly available investor-state arbitration decisions to identify implications… read more
While international investment can provide transfers of capital and technology that spread the use of environmentally sound products and processes, and enable countries to “leapfrog” more polluting phases of development, it can also give rise to certain environmental risks. For one, strategies that firms use to structure their operations across borders and the doctrine of… read more
Contrary to SDG 10, which aims to combat inequality both within and among countries, levels of intra-national inequality in particular are on the rise in many countries. It is therefore timely and crucial to examine what factors are causing these gaps, and how they might be reduced. CCSI is examining the role of investment treaties… read more
CCSI is researching how the development of green technology could impact the demand for “critical” minerals.
Advancing land rights are a crucial step to ensure that investments have positive rather than negative impacts for local communities. CCSI undertakes strategic activities to influence existing international legal frameworks and agendas to strengthen land rights protections, particularly for the most vulnerable of land users, and to support new actors and sectors in focusing on land rights.
CCSI assists stakeholders, researchers, and advocacy organizations by analyzing resource contracts for human rights, fiscal, sustainable development, and environmental implications.
CCSI is developing a tool to assist stakeholders in conducting their own assessments of the human rights and environmental implications of land contracts. This tool will explain the main human rights or environmental issues that may be implicated by the underlying deals, note whether the issues are likely to be included in contracts, describe the relevant human rights norms or environmental standards, and provide an overview of best practices.
CCSI, in partnership with the Sciences Po Law School Clinic and the Danish Institute for Human Rights, has developed a collaborative approach to human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) of private sector investment projects. Although HRIAs have become increasingly prominent in recent years, one specific challenge is the frequent lack of trust between communities and companies, which often extends to distrust of HRIAs that “the other side” has initiated. A collaborative approach to HRIAs provides an avenue to jointly undertake an HRIA that is considered credible by all sides and that helps to address the power imbalances that often exist between companies and communities around private sector projects.
Around the world, project-affected communities grapple with how to access and pay for the legal and technical support they need in the context of natural resource investments—including when they are asked to negotiate directly with investors. CCSI is conducting research to identify, assess, and help further thinking around innovative financing solutions for legal and technical support to communities as they seek to secure and promote their rights and interests that may be affected by agriculture, forestry, and other natural resource investments.
CCSI advises governments and civil society organizations on various issues relating to the legal frameworks that govern extractive industries.
CCSI supported local organizations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to carry out human rights impact assessments, as well as developing two economic models for the Sicomines mine in the DRC to compare the financial flows under the resource for infrastructure deal with a ‘traditional’ contract under the mining code of the DRC.
What are the implications for individuals’ or communities’ ability to obtain redress for harms after investors or lenders have pulled out of a project, or after a project has failed? In light of the continued pressure on investors and lenders to divest from problematic projects, as well as the number of land deals that have failed altogether, CCSI is working to examine the loopholes, gaps, and unenforceable elements in laws and policies regarding redress of harms to communities when investors or funders have left a project and to develop proposed solutions for improving redress options in those circumstances.
CCSI submitted an amicus brief to the Constitutional Court of Colombia concerning a company challenge of a municipal-wide referendum (the Consulta Popular) concerning whether or not the extraction of hydrocarbons should be permitted in the municipality of Cumaral. CCSI’s brief focused on the international human rights law dimensions of the case, including the human rights of all people to information and public participation.
CCSI advises governments and civil society organizations on various issues relating to fiscal frameworks for the extractive industries sector.
CCSI is exploring how equity can be taken into account when thinking through the issue of stranding assets.
CCSI strongly supports the transparency of contracts and tax flows and has published research and papers making the business case for transparency, including two submissions to the SEC in 2011 and 2015.
What types of legal support do host governments use in the context of land investments? When negotiating land investment deals, are host governments out-lawyered and out-resourced at the negotiating table? How can legal assistance help governments to meaningfully incorporate international best practices around responsible land-based investments into individual projects? CCSI is conducting research on 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 other international partners.
OpenLandContracts.org is the first global repository of publicly available investor-state contracts for commercial agriculture or forestry projects. Users of the website can search contracts by different categories; view summaries of key social, human rights, environmental, fiscal, and operational provisions; compare certain provisions across contracts; and download full contracts. OpenLandContracts.org supports a number of stakeholders, and the platform is available to governments interested in developing country-specific databases.
To make investor-state contracts for land, agriculture, and forestry projects more readily available and accessible, CCSI has created a range of guides and other resources to assist users of OpenLandContracts.org and others in better understanding these agreements.
CCSI is examining local content provisions contained in legal frameworks governing resource investments, including in contracts, legislation and bidding practices.
Large-scale investments in agriculture and forestry can have far-reaching implications. Despite their significance, these investments are often negotiated and approved behind closed doors, and governed by contracts that are difficult to access and understand. CCSI conducts crucial research on land investment transparency, including by investigating the transparency needs of local and national actors and by scrutinizing land investment contracts, which can play a pivotal role in allocating risks and determining the benefits of investments.
In addition to conducting research on transparency in land-based investment, CCSI continues to facilitate dialogue at this nexus through webinars, side events, and by convening multistakeholder discussions.
CCSI advocates for transparency in a number of fora. Given the important role that home states could play to encourage greater disclosure of information regarding land-based investment, CCSI has made multiple submissions to home state entities suggesting the introduction or expansion of disclosure requirements for companies.
When not designed or implemented carefully, large-scale investment in agriculture can pose risks related to human rights and land rights. These risks are most acutely felt by rights-holders, but they can also have reputational, financial or other implications for governments and investors.
CCSI is exploring how free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) and consultation processes can be integrated into investor-state contract negotiations, taking into account the practicalities of contract negotiations, to better safeguard the land rights and human rights of members of project-affected communities.
CCSI partnered with Namati to produce two guides for communities and their advisors regarding their interactions with investors. The guides will help communities and their advisors to prepare for, and if they so wish, engage in empowered contract negotiations with investors seeking to use community lands and resources. Guide 1 focuses on preparing for potential investors, both before they arrive and after the community is approached by an investor. Guide 2 focuses on negotiating enforceable contracts that can protect the community’s interests and clearly set the terms under which the investor is permitted to operate.
While there are a number of existing resources that can assist communities and their advocates in their interactions with investors over land—from negotiating better agreements with investors, to monitoring whether investors fulfill the terms of their agreements—these resources are not always easy to find. CCSI has created a detailed Google document that lists relevant guides and other documents, provides links to the original documents, and includes brief descriptions of their content.
Monitoring fiscal reforms in extractive industries is an ongoing part of CCSI’s research.
CCSI is researching aspects of designing and implementing fiscal regimes in an attempt to identify legal and fiscal elements that can help avoid unintended consequences or disputes between an investor and the government over the course of the investment.
Land investments generally require shifts in land use. Some shifts have detrimental climate impacts; others aim at climate mitigation. All hold the potential to also affect access to land and the rights of land users. CCSI’s work in this area focuses on the interactions between resource investments, land use, land rights and climate change, including how to apply better practices to land investments aimed at climate change mitigation.
In 2017 CCSI integrated climate change as one of the core modules in its executive training on extractive industries and sustainable development. The training session provides an introductory overview of climate change impacts, and the Paris Agreement. It gives an overview of various policy developments that have driven and will continue to drive the energy transition, as well as how the private sector is responding.
CCSI submitted an application to file a written submission as an “other person” in Bear Creek Mining Corporation v. Republic of Peru. CCSI’s submission focused on a range of issues, including the implications of international human rights law for the interpretation and application of investment treaty standards.
Policy makers and other stakeholders are currently asking fundamental questions about whether and to what extent international investment agreements (IIAs) are consistent with and are helping to advance sustainable development objectives at home and abroad. A 2019 paper from CCSI examines the alignment of IIAs with the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, arguing that while FDI will play… read more
CCSI focuses on the intersection of international investment law and international human rights law, and the impacts of their application for the most vulnerable of rights-holders. Among other things, this includes a specific focus on investment arbitrations, and their implications for the realization of human rights.
In May 2016, CCSI and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples co-hosted a workshop on indigenous peoples and investment. The workshop brought together indigenous representatives, legal practitioners, academics, and other stakeholders to discuss how international investment and trade frameworks, and the international human rights law regime can be reformed to strengthen the rights of indigenous peoples.
CCSI was contracted to write the extractive industries section of the World Bank Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) for Tanzania. The study identifies the internal and external trade constraints that hinder the development of the priority sectors, and provides policy recommendations on how these obstacles can be overcome.
CCSI is working to identify and advance concrete steps that can help address legal support gaps in the context of large-scale land-based investment. Under a series of projects, CCSI is conducting research on solutions for overcoming specific obstacles; developing guidance resources; and providing workshops and other opportunities to strengthen the provision of quality legal support that promotes responsible investment outcomes.
Among the critical issues that arise from the interaction of human rights and investment law is whether and how the relatively greater access to justice provided to aggrieved investors by the international investment regime undermines access to justice for other individuals and communities, including those affected by large-scale land-based investment.
Dealing with land-based investments and the grievances that they raise can be difficult for host governments, who face a complicated landscape of legal obligations and pragmatic considerations. This project examines the different legal frameworks governing what governments can do to address and remedy land-related grievances after investment concessions have been awarded, with a specific focus on government obligations under international investment law and international human rights law.
International investment law, based primarily on international investment treaties, plays an important role in the governance of investment in agriculture, forestry, and fishing. CCSI partnered with IIED and IISD to produce a briefing note that explains how investment law affects these investments, and how policy-makers can navigate the challenges posed by current frameworks.
Through its research, technical inputs, and convenings, CCSI works to help articulate the role of home states in advancing responsible and rights-compliant outward investment.
CCSI is analyzing how international investment agreements and investor-state dispute settlement can impact the rights of human rights defenders. This includes exploring whether the international investment law regime may exacerbate the repression and criminalization of human rights defenders in the context of investment projects.
Beginning on June 15, 2015, CCSI and the Global Economic Governance Programme at Oxford University launched a series of short presentations by academics, practitioners, and civil society on key topics in international investment law. The series facilitates open access to cutting-edge research and information, and aims to help enrich discussions about the past, present, and future… read more
Large-scale investments in agriculture and forestry hold diverse and far-reaching implications. Despite their significance, these investments are often negotiated and approved behind closed doors, and governed by contracts that are difficult to access and understand. This status quo is particularly concerning in countries where land contracts play a pivotal role in allocating risks and determining… read more
In December 2013, a diverse group of 14 experts from Africa, Asia, North America, South America, and Europe worked together for five days to produce a user-friendly guide in English and in French on “Mining Contracts: How to Read and Understand Them.” The guide was produced to help policy makers, civil society, citizens, and the media understand the often complex and opaque terms of mining contracts.
CCSI has published a brief which examines the use of built-in review periods in extractive industry contracts as a mechanism for managing investor and host-country relations over the duration of a project. CCSI completed a survey of periodic review mechanisms contained in extractive industry contracts, to analyze how they have been used to date, and to understand the purposes for which they may usefully be applied.
Contract transparency in natural resources is an emerging norm that many governments, companies and international institutions have endorsed, particularly within the extractive industries. However, more must be done to make contract transparency a standardized and meaningful norm that leads to better accountability within the extractive industries, as well as around investments in land, agriculture, and forestry.
CCSI has partnered with the International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP) and Tanzania’s UONGOZI Institute to develop a capacity-development program for Tanzania’s Oil & Gas Negotiation Team
CCSI is a knowledge partner to the New Petroleum Producers Discussion Group project, co-organized and sponsored by Chatham House, NRGI, the Africa Governance Initiative and the Commonwealth Secretariat. This project aims to help emerging oil and gas producers to think critically about the various policy options available during the first steps of exploration and development, or when restructuring their petroleum sector.
Mongolia – Umnugobi Khanbogd Manlai Bayan-Ovoo Dalanzadgad – Oyu Tolgoi LLC – 2015 – Agreement
Greenland-Kommuneqarfik-Sermersooq-TNG-Greenland-2014-IBA Greenland – Qaasuitsup Qeqqata Sermersooq – Capricorn Greenland – 2010 – IBA Greenland – Qaasuitsup Qeqqata Sermersooq – Capricorn Greenland – 2011 – IBA
PNG-Kainantu-Landowners-Highlands-Kainantu-Ltd-2003-Agreement PNG-Landowners-LNG-Project-Companies-2008-agreement PNG-Local-Governments-Hidden-Valley-Gold-Project-2005-Agreement PNG – Porgera – National Government – 1989 – Agreement PNG – Ramu Landowners – Ramu Nickel Joint Venturers – 2000 – Agreement PNG-Tolukuma-Clayfield-Pty-Ltd-2007-Agreement
Ghana-Ahafo-Mine-Local-Community-Newmont-Ghana-Gold-Ltd-2008-Development-Foundation-Agreement Ghana-Ahafo-Mine-Local-Community-Newmont-Ghana-Gold-Ltd-2008-Local-Employment-Agreement Ghana-Ahafo-Mine-Local-Community-Newmont-Ghana-Gold-Ltd-2008-Social-Responsibility-Agreement
Canada – Inuit of the Nunavut Settlement Area – Government of Canada – 2006 – Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement for National Wildlife Areas and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries in the Nunavut Settlement Area* Canada – Inuit of the Nunavut Settlement Area – Government of Canada – 2009 – Agreement* Canada – Inuit of the Nunavut… read more
Australia – Adnyamathanha – SACOME – 2009 – Agreement Australia – Antakirinja Native Title Group – SACOME – 2003 – Agreement Australia – Antakirinja Native Title Group – SACOME – 2003 – Template Contract Conditions Australia – Arabunna – SACOME – 2003 – acceptance contract Australia – Arabunna – SACOME – 2003 – Agreement Australia… read more
An ongoing stream of CCSI’s work is to follow developments with claims made and decisions issued in treaty-based investor-state arbitrations, and produce papers documenting these developments and highlighting their implications for environmental, social and economic policy.
The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) and CCSI have conducted a world-wide survey of Natural Resource Funds (NRF). The survey considers NRF management, investments, transparency, and accountability to the public, as well as the fiscal rules that govern them. This project seeks to foster cross-country experience-sharing on fund governance.
Since the 1990s, international investment law has been rapidly evolving, resulting in a complex web of over 3,000 investment treaties. These treaties have been used to challenge a wide range of host state actions and inactions that have allegedly negatively affected foreign investors or investments. Those challenges, in turn, expose host states to potentially significant financial costs, and can restrict the ability of such states to maximize the benefits, and limit the environmental and social harms, that can result from the exploitation of natural resources.
With over 3000 international investment treaties in existence and governments continuing to negotiate and ratify additional bilateral and multilateral investment treaties, it is important to have a clear understanding of the implications of these investment treaties on investor protections and state liability, and the resulting balance of public and private interests that they strike. To… read more
CCSI is reviewing international investment agreements and the case law interpreting them, and analyzing what the treaties mean for domestic environmental policy.
Thanks to a grant from the Australian Government, CCSI has developed an economically, legally and operationally rational framework to enable shared use of mining-related infrastructure, including rail, ports, power, water, internet and telecommunications.
Since 2006, CCSI has hosted an annual Columbia International Investment Conference. These annual conferences bring together numerous stakeholders including high-level government officials, corporate executives, investors, academics, and civil society for forward-looking policy discussions of critical issues in international investment for sustainable development. A list of the past Conferences, with links to the programs and materials,… read more
This project looks at the extent to which international investment agreements have come to incorporate clauses that provide the parties with exceptions from the application of certain disciplines.
CCSI, together with the World Bank and the Natural Resource Governance Institute, has developed ResourceContracts.org, an online, searchable and user-friendly database of publicly available resource contracts from around the world. In October 2015, the database was expanded to include publicly available land contracts, which are accessible through OpenLandContracts.org.
In March 2017, CCSI presented a working paper titled “Articulating a Rights-Based Argument for Land Contract Disclosure” at the World Bank Land & Poverty Conference. The paper explores whether and how existing state obligations under human rights law require disclosure of land contracts and more transparent contracting processes around land investments.
Making Investment Treaties Work for Sustainable Development: Addressing Challenges in Existing Agreements and Designing New Frameworks
CCSI is providing policy and advisory to governments on using investment treaties to support advancement of policy goals, and also supporting other inter- and non-governmental organizations in these areas.
Support for Host Country Governments in the Planning, Preparation for, Negotiation, Implementation, and Monitoring of Large-Scale Investments
CCSI created a Negotiation Support Portal designed to improve the accessibility of technical assistance and of useful tools and resources to assist host governments planning, preparing for, negotiating, monitoring, and implementing large-scale investments in the extractive industries, land and agriculture, and infrastructure sectors, and to facilitate coordination among support providers and host governments.
CCSI is following the negotiation and conclusion of investment treaties, and publishing research on trends and developments. Analysis of recent trends is compiled in the Yearbook on Investment Law and Policy.
China’s emergence as an important outward investor and implications for international investment law
China has become one of the three most important outward foreign direct investors, complementing its role as one of the most important host countries world wide and the most important one among developing countries. Moreover, the country has concluded the second highest number of of bilateral investment treaties, in addition to free trade agreements with… read more
Recognizing the need to learn from accumulated experience with public-private partnerships, CCSI is developing a database to enable governments and researchers to identify the legal formulas that can and have been used to produce successful PPPs.
CCSI hosts an annual Spring or Fall Speaker Series on International Investment Law and Policy that brings practitioners and experts in the field of international investment law to highlight and explore timely and topical issues or developments in the field. This Series, which is open to and attracts a diverse audience including students, academics, and practitioners,… read more
This project, commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, seeks to ascertain the strengths and weaknesses of the current international investment law and policy regime and outline options for improvement.
The course covers the inter-related challenges of governance, infrastructure, economic diversification, environmental management, and economic development.
CCSI partnered with the Institute for Human Rights and Business to co-convene two colloquiums on Policy, Law, Contracts, and Sustainable Investments. These events helped map efforts to embed sustainability and human rights in extractives projects and land deals, with a particular focus on what is negotiated and concluded in contracts.
This project looks at the obstacles to an agreement between China and the US, and the compromises that could possibly be envisioned.
The ultimate objective of the project is to construct model syllabi for international investment law and make them available to institutions of higher learning throughout the world, especially in emerging markets.
This advisory project, undertaken for the Government of Paraguay, explored the potential for creating a climate risk management system, and developing sustainable agricultural activities, to mitigate environmental vulnerability; and developed a high-level strategic plan around using Paraguay’s vast hydropower resources for sustainable economic development, and the diversification of its economy.
CCSI regularly hosts speakers, roundtables, workshops, and events on a variety of related topics.
CCSI produces a number of policy briefs, guides and other publications that are useful resources on topics of extractive industries, land and agriculture, and investment law and policy.
CCSI staff work with Law School administrators to build curricula around foreign direct investment issues.
The study of outward FDI and competitive neutrality seeks to analyze what measures home countries have undertaken to support their outward investing enterprises and what the salient features are of these measures.
CCSI is working to deepen and broaden understanding regarding the appropriate legal frameworks that can better ensure that public-private partnerships result in high quality, accountable, and sustainable infrastructure and related services.
Committed to the belief that transparency in investor-state arbitration is fundamental for accountability, good governance, and the rule of law, elements which are, in turn, crucial for sustainable development, CCSI has been involved in the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) proceedings to increase public access to information regarding disputes.
Leveraging Investment for Sustainable Development: the Role of Performance Requirements for Technology Transfer
This project furthers research (1) on the types of performance requirements countries may want to use (or avoid using) in order to fully reap the benefits from investments by MNEs; and (2) the role of international investment agreements in promoting or restricting use of such performance requirements.
CCSI supported the drafting and adoption of the 20 year Strategic Development Plan (SDP) for Timor-Leste, and helped to develop new institutions and laws to optimize the use of the country’s petroleum fund for development.
This research project focuses on identifying concrete actions home states can take to help catalyze and channel FDI to enhance technology transfer for climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.
CCSI is collaborating with the Earth Institute and Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Centers in West and East Africa to adapt the broad precepts of the Millennium Villages Project to the specific conditions of mining sites.
Comparing Company Profits and Government Revenues from Extractives During the ‘Commodity Super Cycle’
This research project aims to assess whether it is reasonable for governments to demand a larger share of the pie by comparing company profits to government revenues during the boom years.
The Emerging Market Global Players Project leads and coordinates research among a worldwide network of academics and institutions that produce new studies on the salient features of MNEs from emerging markets and their impact on sustainable development.
The first effort to arrive at comprehensive and balanced rules governing the relations of governments and multinational enterprises were undertaken in the United Nations a few decades ago. The negotiations of a United Nations Code of Conduct on Transnational Corporations began in the late 1970s against the background of the quest for a New International Economic Order,… read more
This research assesses whether political risk indicators are a good measure to predict fiscal regime changes, with the ultimate aim to create a framework which investors and governments can use to negotiate the length of future stabilization clauses.
In partnership with Africa Investor, CCSI evaluated trends in intra-African investment flows over the last 10 years. A high-level summary of the research was published in the November 2012 edition of Africa Investor magazine.
The aims of this research are to propose how and when strategic environmental assessments can be integrated into planning processes in the pre-contracting phase and to support governments at the ministerial level in their implementation, looking at tools and institutional framework enabling participatory and cross-ministerial processes.
CCSI, in collaboration with the Carter Center, is developing two economic models for the Sicomines mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to compare the financial flows under the resource for infrastructure deal with a ‘traditional’ contract under the mining code of the DRC.
This project examined the bargaining power of cross-border pipeline transit countries and the range of factors that influence it, including their position in the pipeline, their commercial interest in the project as well as their foreign policy strategy.
Infrastructure linked to large-scale natural resource investments is often cited as a primary benefit of such investments, including for both extractive industry and land-based agriculture projects. The most common methods of linking infrastructure development to investments differ, however, based on the underlying sector. CCSI has undertaken a significant amount of research on leveraging extractive industry… read more
Contract Comparison Research: Using the ResourceContracts.org contract comparison tool, CCSI is researching local content and water provisions respectively in oil, gas, and mining contracts from select countries, supplementing and situating the analysis in the context of the projects to which the contracts apply to understand the impact of such provisions on water availability for communities surrounding a project, and the realization of local content objectives.