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New free online repository – is an online repository of publicly available contracts for large-scale land, agriculture, and forestry projects. The repository includes the full text of contracts; plain language summaries of each contract’s key social, environmental, human rights, fiscal, and operational terms; and tools for searching and comparing contracts. Launched in October 2015, promotes greater transparency of land-based investments, facilitates a better understanding of the contracts that govern them, and provides useful tools for governments, communities, companies, and other stakeholders. Large-scale investments in land, agriculture, and forestry can have serious implications for land users and local communities, as well as for host governments’ sustainable development efforts. These investments are often governed by contracts between host governments and investors that define the parties’ respective responsibilities and affect a range of social and environmental issues. However, the contracts can be difficult to access, and even when publicly disclosed, the resources available to assess the key provisions of such contracts and compare them with other contracts may be limited. This, in turn, can result in a critical lack of knowledge. Host governments lose the opportunity to learn from other countries’ experiences, including by comparing the terms that other governments offer for similar investments. Communities are less able to hold governments and investors to account throughout the lifecycle of a project, and are less able to assert their rights. And investors risk heightened community tensions over their land deals, increasing the potential for local conflict and possibly imperiling their investment…” [via Kris Kasianovitz]

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