Guides to Land Contracts

Lead PI:

Unit Affiliation: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI)

Unknown start date - Ongoing
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DESCRIPTION: As part of CCSI’s efforts to make investor-state contracts for land, agriculture, forestry, and renewable energy projects more readily available and accessible, CCSI has created a range of guides and other resources to help users of and others in better understanding these agreements.

OUTCOMES: Guide to Land Contracts in Agricultural Projects. Agricultural investment contracts can be complex, and some provisions may be difficult to understand. This Guide was developed to assist non-lawyers in better understanding agricultural investment contracts, such as those available on The Guide provides explanations for a range of common provisions, and includes a Glossary of legal and technical terms. It was prepared by International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP) staff and volunteers in collaboration with CCSI.
Guide to Land Contracts in Forestry Projects. This guide aims to assist users in unpacking the technical provisions and language typically found in forestry contracts in order to better understand the contracts and the potential implications of specific provisions across a range of stakeholder interests. It was also prepared by ISLP staff and volunteers in collaboration with CCSI. *Note: A revised version of this Guide was published in January 2017.*
Briefing for grass-roots organizations – Bridging the information gap: How access to land contracts can serve community rights. This short briefing note explains how local organizations can use land contracts and to support communities to protect their rights. With these tools, organizations can help communities to:
 Understand company and government obligations related to a company project.
 Monitor whether those obligations are being fulfilled.
 Hold companies and the government to account for bad contracts or for failing to deliver on commitments that are important to communities.
CCSI also offers Self-Study Training Modules, which are designed to enable users of to independently engage with and learn more about the repository and land contracts more generally. Prior to commencing the self-study training, please read the accompanying Guidance Note listed on the Guides page. This self-study training includes four modules, each provided as a separate set of PDF slides:
Training Module One: Introduction and Key Features
Training Module Two: Analyzing Land Contracts using
Training Module Three: Understanding Land Contracts and Land Investments
Training Module Four: Land Contract Transparency: Benefits and Limits
The Self-Study Training Modules are designed to be used in combination with a contract analysis exercise.
To supplement these Modules, CCSI has also published two tutorial videos:
 the first video introduces and showcases how the repository can be used to search for and view land contracts;
 the second video showcases the “Clips” tool, a feature designed to help users compare annotations from one or more contracts on


International Senior Lawyers Project


contracts investors stakeholders training modules guide