Executive Training on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture
Download the 2018 Executive Training Brochure here.
In seeking to promote responsible international investment in agriculture and encourage sustainable development, countries face both challenges and opportunities. These include: developing robust legal and fiscal frameworks; negotiating equitable deals with investors; leveraging investments for greater sustainable development outcomes; and mitigating environmental impacts while protecting human rights.
To help stakeholders in addressing these issues, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) has developed an annual executive training on international investments in agriculture.
The program adopts an interdisciplinary approach to sustainable investments in agriculture. It provides an overview of pressing issues related to agricultural investments, as well as an introduction to relevant practical skills. The overarching goal of the course is to equip participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to support responsible agricultural investment, and to facilitate a rich dialogue about best practices from around the globe. By working through case studies with practitioners and experts in the field, participants focus on how to use analytical tools and frameworks to harness international agricultural investments for sustainable development.
Who should attend?
This interdisciplinary program is designed for mid-level public sector officials and civil society representatives from low- and middle-income countries, whose responsibilities relate to investments, agriculture, land or rural development. A select number of representatives from development agencies and the private sector may also be admitted.
The course draws primarily from among faculty and experts at the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Outside experts also teach specific topics related to their expertise. Faculty from the past 3 trainings have included:
- Luiz Amaral, Global Executive Manager for Global Forest Watch Commodities and Finance, World Resources Institute
- Ward Anseeuw, Research Fellow, CIRAD
- Joseph Bell, Of Counsel, Hogan Lovells US LLP
- Karol Boudreaux, Land Tenure Practice Lead, The Cloudburst Group
- Ronald Chari, Legal Counsel, African Legal Support Facility/ African Development Bank
- Lorenzo Cotula, Principal Researcher, IIED
- Esther Delbourg, École Polytechnique
- Heather Eisenlord, Human Rights Director, ISLP
- Joshua Fisher, Director, Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity
- Laura German, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and Center for Integrative Conservation and Research, University of Georgia
- Bruce Gilchrist, Partner, Hogan Lovells US LLP
- Michael Jarvis, Executive Director, Transparency & Accountability Initiative
- Kiersten Johnson, Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor, USAID Bureau for Food Security
- Jon Lindsay, Lead Counsel for Land and Natural Resources, Environmental and International Law Practice Group, World Bank
- Tiernan Mennen, Vice President, Governance and Rights, Abt Associates
- Mark Musumba, Associate Research Scientist, Agriculture and Food Security Center, Earth Institute, Columbia University
- Carolyn Mutter, International Program Manager, Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP)
- Amanda Richardson, Co-Founder and Program Director, Resource Equity
- Cynthia Rosenzweig, Senior Research Scientist, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
- Alex Ruane, Research Coordinator and Climate Team Lead, Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP), NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
- Tess Russo, Research Fellow, Global Good, Intellectual Ventures and Assistant Research Professor in the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, Pennsylvania State University
- Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University, and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres
- Senior legal, economics, and technical staff of CCSI
What past participants have said:
Jeremy Agyemang, Head of Agribusiness Unit, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana: “The training at CCSI was phenomenal. It equipped me with knowledge that has enhanced my understanding of the investor-state relationship. Those delivering the training were experts in their field, and more than willing to provide participants with assistance to make the learning experience fruitful. Great technical resources were also provided to participants. I highly recommend the training to anyone working in the agricultural investment space.”
Shyamal Chandradathsingh, Vice President, Investor Sourcing, Invest in Trinidad & Tobago: “The quality of the presenters was top notch … I highly recommend it.”
Mohamed Coulibaly, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Mali; Consultant, Institute of Research and the Promotion of Development Alternatives (IRPAD): “The training offered me the opportunity to meet and share experience with people from different countries, continents and different backgrounds for a mutually reinforcing experience.”
Mamadou Diarrah, Senior Development Officer, African Union Commission: “I want to express my sincere appreciation to the organizers for such a wonderful training workshop. … [T]he expertise of the presenters and organizers substantially raised my knowledge bar. Additionally, the discussion with the other participants opened my mind to new and exciting ideas from other parts of the world that could be tested in my region of interest in order to bolster investments into agriculture for the benefit of the populations.”
Sigrid Stensrud Ekman, Private Sector Advisor, NIRAS / Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme (ASDSP), Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Kenya: “I would recommend this course for everyone working on land issues and agro-investments. The lecturers were highly knowledgeable, and the diverse group of participants (coming from various geographic regions and backgrounds, ranging from civil society to the private and public sectors) made for insightful discussion. I particularly enjoyed putting theory into practice using case studies each day. The training also provided a great opportunity for networking.”
Syl-Brians Kamara, Deputy Director, Environment Protection Agency, Sierra Leone: “The training course is fantastic, and certainly fulfilled my expectations. Since returning to Sierra Leone, I have already engaged with my colleagues and other institutions to implement solutions proposed and discussed during the course.”
Mary Ndaro, Coordinator, Land Rights Program, CARE International: “I greatly enjoyed the culture and atmosphere at the training, which allowed me to interact with a range of experts and participants with different perspectives. The ideas we exchanged enhanced by understanding of the many factors that affect the governance of agricultural investments, including the impact of international investment treaties and what these agreements mean for efforts to reduce poverty and address inequality in countries like my own. I also appreciated how gender was addressed in several training modules; it was great to be part of a training with a strong dedication to discussing gender issues.”
Christian Schulze, Officer, Climate, Energy and Tenure Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO): “I can highly recommend the training course …. I gained new knowledge and practical skills to address some of the key challenges posed by international investments in agriculture, which will be valuable for my future work.”
The Honorable George Wisner, Executive Director, National Investment Commission, Liberia on behalf of Ms. Monen Jacquelynn Duoe (Special Assistant to Hon. Wisner): “I am pleased to present my compliments and to extend, on behalf of the National Investment Commission of Liberia, thanks and appreciation …. Ms. Monen Jacquelynn Duoe has since returned and is imbued with a lot of confidence to help us move our development agenda forward.”
Naa Oyoe Quartey, Senior Agricultural Officer, Women in Agricultural Development Directorate, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana: “The training was very insightful. I would recommend this course to anyone dealing with agricultural investments in their work, particularly given the holistic approach and range of topics covered. Big thanks to the team and excellent faculty!”
If you have any questions about the program or if you would be interested in sponsoring participants for the program, please contact us at [email protected].