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Experts Examine Costs and Benefits of Investment Incentives

By Nathan Lobel
January 10, 2018

Governments continue to use incentives to attract and hold corporate investment. In Rethinking Investment Incentives: Trends and Policy Options edited by Ana Teresa Tavares-Lehmann, Perrine Toledano, Lise Johnson, and Lisa Sachs (Columbia University Press, July 2016), several distinguished experts question some of the core assumptions that lead to these deals. In doing so, they identify key issues for policymakers and propose best practices to help governments get the most bang for their buck.

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Investor-State Dispute Settlement: What Are We Trying to Achieve? Does ISDS Get us There?

By Lise Johnson, Brooke Skartvedt Güven, and Jesse Coleman
December 11, 2017

In this blog post, the first part of a two-part series, Lise Johnson, Brooke Skartvedt Güven, and Jesse Coleman raise questions regarding the effectiveness of investor-state dispute settlement in achieving its stated objectives.

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CCSI at the 44th Plenary Session of the Committee on World Food Security

By Sarah Cruz
December 4, 2017

In this blog post, Sarah Cruz summarizes the highlights from CCSI’s participation in the 44th Plenary Session of the Committee on World Food Security.

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Michael Jarvis Interview on OpenLandContracts.org

November 21, 2017

In this video, Michael Jarvis, Executive Director of the Transparency and Accountability Initiative, speaks about OpenLandContracts.org, and what changes in resource contract transparency mean for stakeholders seeking to improve governance and accountability around investments.

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Is There a Human Right to Land?

By Kaitlin Cordes
November 8, 2017

In this blog post, Kaitlin Cordes considers whether and how international human rights law recognizes a human right to land, and the ways in which land rights are inextricably linked to human rights.

3 Uses for OpenLandContracts.org

By Kaitlin Cordes
October 17, 2017

Kaitlin Cordes shares some of the ways she uses OpenLandContracts.org, a repository of investor-state contracts.

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Reflecting on OpenLandContracts.org’s First Two Years

By Kaitlin Cordes
October 3, 2017

Two years ago, CCSI announced OpenLandContracts.org, the world’s first global repository of publicly available investor-state contracts for land, agriculture, and forestry projects. In this blog post, Kaitlin Cordes reflects on the progress CCSI is made and further goals for the future.

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Lorenzo Cotula and Thierry Berger On Transparency around Land Investment Contracts

By Liam Kelley-St. Claire
September 26, 2017

CCSI spoke with Lorenzo Cotula and Thierry Berger of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) OpenLandContracts.org, the world’s first searchable repository of publicly available investor-state land contracts. Lorenzo and Thierry discussed how they use the repository in their work, and how disclosure of land contracts can inform legal empowerment at the local and national levels.

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World Leaders Discuss a Global Pact for the Environment

By Nathan Lobel
September 26, 2017

CCSI invited UN officials, policy makers, civil society leaders, and academics to Columbia for a one-day conference to discuss the Global Pact for the Environment. The Global Pact aims to serve as a legally binding “umbrella text” for international environmental law that would establish a universal right to a healthy environment. Panelists presented their hopes for the Pact’s potential impact, including expanding human rights protections, influencing state policy-making, and catalyzing a holistic rethinking of other international agreements (like those on trade or investment). They also weighed in on fundamental questions for drafters and negotiators to address before the Pact is ready for ratification, like whether the Pact should be fully legally binding, whether it should use a narrow or broad definition of “environment,” and whether it should be designed for use in international or domestic courts.

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Not So Sweet: Tanzania Confronts Arbitration over Large-Scale Sugarcane and Ethanol Project

By Jesse Coleman and Kaitlin Cordes
September 21, 2017

In this blog post, Jesse Coleman and Kaitlin Cordes explore how Tanzania exemplifies the many challenges of large-scale international investment. Four companies under a bilateral investment treaty in force between Tanzania and Sweden are currently holding a claim against the country after 3,000 hectares of the land allocated for the project were recovered by the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Human Settlements Developments. The project had potential impacts on local farmers, villagers, wildlife and tourism at Saadani National Park, however, Tanzania now faces significant financial liability if they are found to have breached their obligations under the applicable IIA.

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