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Multi-Sited Governance of Large-Scale Land Acquisitions: Mapping and Evaluating the Terrain

By: Laura German

This article published in the journal Review of Policy Research examines a wide array of governance mechanisms regulating the finance, production, and consumption stages of large-scale agricultural investments by foreign actors in developing countries. Mechanisms were assessed based on their substantive scope (the range of social, economic, and environmental features the measures claim to regulate), their reach (the number of investments governed by a mechanism), and the practical strength of their implementation mechanisms. Systematic analysis of these measures, which ranged from voluntary multilateral initiatives such as the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Voluntary Guidelines to policies governing major consumer markets such as the European Union’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) policy, revealed a fundamental lack of effective implementation and undermining flaws in national legislation and international guidelines. Ultimately, the voluntary nature of many international standards and the limited enforcement capacity and political will of host countries means that the mitigation of negative impacts and the degree of substantive participation and benefit-sharing for local communities are dependent upon the will of the investors.

Keywords: land tenure governance, international voluntary guidelines, corporate social responsibility, consumer initiatives.

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Uploaded on: Aug 14, 2015
Last Updated: Dec 08, 2015
Year Published: 2014
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