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Global Perspectives on a Global Pact for the Environment

Edited by Michael Burger, Teresa Parejo, and Lisa Sachs
September 19, 2018

As the UNGA convenes this week, we are bringing together independent thought leaders and legal scholars from around the world to weigh in on what, if anything, the process initiated by UNGA Resolution 72/277 might usefully accomplish; and what the United Nations agencies, national governments and civil society stakeholders engaged in the process could usefully consider. Together, these perspectives identify a number of existing issues that merit attention and, if heeded, might inform negotiations on the future of international environmental governance.

Why Politics Matter for Technical Assistance, in Guyana and Beyond

By Michael Jarvis
September 19, 2018

With the announcement of yet more oil, Guyana is back in the news. While much ink has been spilled on what Guyana will do with its newfound riches, not much is being written about the role of donors and advisers in this context. To maximize impact of technical recommendations, these development practitioners must navigate the thorny task of integrating political considerations into technical recommendations.

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Forging a Path Forward on International Investment Governance: Columbia International Investment Conference

By Nathan Lobel
September 19, 2018

The world has entered a critical moment for international investment governance. To seize upon this moment, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment is hosting a two-day conference on Rethinking International Investment Governance: Principles for the 21st Century. The conference seeks to elaborate principles for a progressive investment agenda.

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New Guides Help Communities Avoid Exploitative Contracts

By Sam Szoke-Burke
September 10, 2018

Would you sign a lease that gave your landlord “sole discretion” in deciding on how any disputes you have with them would be resolved? Would you spend months or years negotiating a contract only to have it include a clause saying it is not legally enforceable? These are the sorts of alarming features that we have seen in agreements between communities and investors seeking to community lands and resources. They were also one factor behind CCSI’s and Namati’s decision to develop new guides to help communities understand their rights and avoid exploitative agreements.

Here’s How Cameroon Can Achieve Land Contract Transparency

By Téodyl Nkuintchua, Sam Szoke-Burke, and Horline Njike
August 29, 2018

Cameroon’s new code on transparency and good governance promises to remove the shroud of secrecy that has hovered over contracts the government has signed with natural resource investors. It should also require the publication of investor-state contracts for agriculture and forestry projects. Everything appears to be lined up for Cameroon to advance on land contract transparency; here’s how the government can fulfill this promise.

Leah Mugehera Khasoha Alumni Profile

In this alumni profile, we feature Leah Mugehera Khasoha, Women’s Land Rights Program Officer with Oxfam International and an alumnus of the 2017 CCSI Executive Training on Sustainable Investment in Agriculture. Leah discusses the barriers women face in relation to land ownership, and the importance of transparency around land investments.

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PPPs and ISDS: A Risky Combination

By Brooke Guven and Lise Johnson
May 24, 2018

While governments were traditionally viewed as playing a legitimate and indispensable role in leading the provision of public infrastructure and services, recent years have seen a distinct and increasing turn toward public private partnerships (PPPs) as a way of structuring public infrastructure investments.

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Syl-Brians Kamara Alumni Profile

May 2, 2018

In this alumni profile, Syl-Brians Kamara, Deputy Director in charge of Field Operations and Extension at the Environment Protection Agency in Sierra Leone, and a 2016 Executive Training alumnus, provides insights into environmental protection, environmental regulations, and engaging local communities on issues related to their environment and livelihoods.

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Crucial Ingredients for Meaningful Reform at UNCITRAL: Withdrawal of Consent to Arbitrate and Termination of Existing Treaties

By Lise Johnson, Lisa Sachs, Brooke Guven, and Jesse Coleman
April 18, 2018

UNCITRAL’s Working Group III has been entrusted with a mandate to explore reform of ISDS, including, potentially, through a multilateral instrument capable of reforming existing treaties. However, these discussions are likely to be slow, and outcomes uncertain. In the meantime, governments and their stakeholders remain tied to an outdated system that is widely acknowledged to be ill-suited for modern investment policy objectives, with increasingly concerning consequences. Two near term options that could accompany longer term reform are (1) a joint instrument on withdrawal of consent to arbitrate; and/or (2) a joint instrument on termination.

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Justine Sylvester Alumni Profile

April 13, 2018

In this alumni profile, Justine Sylvester, Advisor to the Land and Livelihoods Program and Private Sector Engagement at Village Focus International (VFI) and a 2017 Executive Training alumnus, highlights efforts to encourage collaboration between the private sector and civil society organizations and discusses tools for communicating with different stakeholder groups.

Categories: Blog