Objectives: Unclear tenure and weak governance structures in developing countries present major obstacles to investors – particularly regarding large-scale investments in agriculture and forestry supply chains. They undermine business predictions, return expectations and overall investment security. Yet, there are notable cases of investors overcoming tenure- and governance-related obstacles. What did they do differently?
This session compiled factual investor experiences from ventures in agriculture and forestry supply chains and discussed concrete measures that enterprises can take to mitigate tenure and governance risks.
Participants exchanged experiences with tenure rights over and access to natural resources, while also assessing human rights, labor rights, health, food security and environmental protection. Existing standards for responsible business conduct (RBC), such as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems of the Committee on World Food Security or forestry certification systems provided a basis for discussion.
A case study of TIAA–CREF’s farmland investments in Brazil highlighted how risks can be successfully mitigated through a management plan that includes governance and tenure aspects.
Participants were invited to collaborate with other actors operating along agricultural and forestry supply chains, including other investors and civil society organizations, and defined the roles and responsibilities of each of these actors.
Key discussion topics included:
- Dealing with tenure risks in weak governance countries.
- Due diligence along agricultural and forestry supply chains.
- International standards for responsible land-based investments.
- Mitigating tenure and governance risks in landscapes – a global outlook.
- Draft FAO-OECD guidance for responsible agricultural supply chains (OECD, forthcoming)
- Institutional investors and green infrastructure investments (OECD, 2013)
- OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (OECD, 2011)
- Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems of the Committee on World Food Security (FAO, 2014)