Agricultural Investments under International Investment Law

Lead PI:

Unit Affiliation: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI)

Unknown start date - Ongoing
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: International investment law, based primarily on international investment treaties, plays an important role in the governance of investment in agriculture, forestry, and fishing. The obligations established by these treaties, and enforced by means of investor–state arbitration, can present challenges for policy-makers and others seeking to ensure that investments are sustainable, including by affecting the ways in which the costs and benefits of investments are distributed among different actors.

CCSI partnered with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) to produce a briefing note on agricultural investments under international investment law. The briefing note provides an overview of the following issues:

Who and what do international investment treaties protect, and how are they enforced?
Why does international investment law matter for the governance of sustainable, responsible investment in agriculture?
How can investment treaties and investor-state arbitration impact laws, policies, and other actions or measures taken by states concerning investment in agriculture?
What impact does international investment law have on local perspectives, responsible governance of tenure, and responsible business conduct?
And how can policy-makers address challenges posed by investment treaties and investor-state arbitration?


International Institute for Environment and Development, International Institute for Sustainable Development


fishing sustainability forestry investment international investment agriculture


Sustainable living