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Land rights and investment treaties: exploring the interface

Lorenzo Cotula

Book/Report, 68 pages

The spread and deepening of economic globalisation has highlighted the ever closer connections between the international legal arrangements for the governance of the global economy on the one hand, and claims to land and natural resources on the other. In a globalised world, land governance is shaped by international as well as national regulation. As pressures on valuable lands intensify and land relations become more transnationalised, increasing recourse to international investment treaties is redesigning spaces for land claims at local and national levels.

This report sheds light on how investment treaties can affect land rights. It finds that investment treaties can have far-reaching implications for land reform, for public action to address “land grabbing” and more generally for land governance frameworks. The report also charts directions for socio-legal research to explore how investment treaties are affecting land rights on the ground.

This paper has been produced under IIED’s Legal tools for citizen empowerment project.

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Cotula, L. (2015) Land rights and investment treaties: Exploring the interface. IIED, London.