Document Type

Report/Policy Paper

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Land-based investment in agriculture, forestry, renewable energy, mining, and other natural resources can contribute to sustainable development, but positive outcomes are neither inevitable nor easy to achieve. Responsible land-based investment (RLBI) requires good governance (through laws and policies) as well as good practice. This document focuses on how government officials can improve the governance and practice of RLBI by building stronger political support.

Government officials confront complicated political realities on a daily basis. In many places, obstacles to RLBI are not due to a lack of technical expertise or resources, but rather are linked to low levels of commitment from key actors who have influence over relevant outcomes. In other words, government officials who aim to advance RLBI may have the “ability to implement” good policies and practices, but still be stymied by a lack of desire to implement among the powerful.

Why is this? Ideas about good practices are processed and implemented through institutions. Institutions are ultimately shaped by people, interests, and the systems and structures within which they operate. Changes in policy or practice, even if technically sound, require the support of powerful actors to take hold.


Law | Law and Politics