Guidance for Communities Interacting with Investors

Deciding whether or not to allow an investor to use community lands and natural resources is one of the most important decisions a community can make. If an investment project is carried out in a respectful and inclusive way, it may help community members to achieve their development goals, which may include creating jobs and local economic opportunities. But investments come

with risks. Investment projects may make the land that community members need for farming and other livelihood activities unavailable for some time. They may pollute local rivers, lakes, air, and soils, or block access to sacred areas or water sources. Investment projects may even violate community members’ human rights, or result in communities completely losing their lands.

Given these challenges, CCSI partnered with Namati, a legal empowerment organization, to produce two guides aimed at supporting communities and their advisors in their interactions with land-based investors.

Guide 1 sets out practical guidance to help communities and their advisors to prepare before potential investors arrive, and after an investor has approached a community.

Guide 2 provides practical guidance on the issues to consider when negotiating and drafting community-investor contracts.

The guides are designed to apply to agriculture and forestry projects, although may have some applicability to agreements reached in other contexts, such as around mining or renewable energy projects.

Download the Guides here:

Community Investor Negotiation Guide 1: Preparing in advance for potential investors





Community Investor Negotiation Guide 2: Negotiating contracts with investors






If you would like to request a hard copy version of the guides, please write to us at:

This project builds off of earlier and ongoing work by both Namati and CCSI, including CCSI’s Directory of Community Guidance on Agreements relating to Agriculture or Forestry Investments, which pulls together relevant resources that can be used by communities in their interactions with investors over land. In addition, in March 2017, CCSI presented a paper on community-investor agreements tied to agricultural and forestry investments, highlighting the “state of play” around such agreements, and providing concrete recommendations on how the agreements, and practices around them, can be improved. In drafting the paper, CCSI collected and analyzed more than 40 community-investor agreements. A final version of the paper will be published soon. This work is part of a series of projects and activities, supported by UK DFID, looking at legal support gaps in the context of land-based investments.