We are thrilled to launch the Community-Investor Negotiation Guides. These two first-of-their-kind resources support communities and frontline advocates to prepare for, and if they so wish, engage in empowered contract negotiations with investors seeking to use community lands and natural resources.
Across the globe, governments, national elites, and international businesses are aggressively pursuing community lands and resources for mining, logging, agribusiness and infrastructure projects. These investors, who often approach communities hand-in-hand with government officials, police, or military, or who are members of these groups themselves, sometimes use their power to intimidate communities into signing contracts that strip them of their lands and natural resources.
In exchange for their lands, investors often promise communities significant benefits – schools, roads, clinics, jobs, and seemingly-large rental payments. Many of those promises are not kept. Communities – lacking legal literacy and support – are often manipulated into signing contracts that evict them from their lands, degrade their environments, and deny them fair compensation and legal remedies.
To counter such widespread injustice, the Community-Investor Negotiation Guides, developed by Namati and the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, provide communities and frontline advocates with concrete, practical strategies to understand their rights, fend off unjust investments, and ensure that community prosperity is at the center of all negotiations.