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Reshaping contracts for quality natural resource investments

Lorenzo Cotula

IIED Briefing, 4 pages

Investment contracts are agreements between an investor and a host state that set the terms of an investment project. Examples include concessions for agricultural or extractive industry projects. Together with applicable national and international law, these contracts define the way risks, costs and benefits are distributed. Who can participate in contract development greatly influences the extent to which third parties can have their voices heard. So getting the contracts right is a key part of maximising the investment’s contribution to sustainable development. This goes beyond concerns about public revenues, to include transparency and public participation in the contracting process, and proper integration of social and environmental considerations throughout the contract.

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

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Investment contracts – from land concessions to production sharing agreements for oil and gas projects – define the terms of an investment and influence the distribution of its costs and benefits. The process to conclude the contracts influences who has what say, when and how. IIED works with partners to rethink these legal documents and the process through which they are formulated.

More at www.iied.org:
Realigning investment contracts with sustainable development

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