Study on How Commercial Investments in Natural Resources be Designed as to Better Benefit Poor People?
Very few, of these potential benefits have materialized. Instead poorly managed and secretively negotiated large-scale land acquisitions have resulted in significant negative impacts. In extreme cases large-scale land acquisitions have led to displacement of smallholders and loss of income and resources for local inhabitants as well as irreversible environmental degradation. Such impacts generate grievances and mistrust that may ultimately result in civil conflict.
Investors with a long-term perspective realize that pro-poor impacts can contribute to economic viability of investments and reduce business risks such as reputational loss and expensive and time consuming conflicts with local communities. With this view, various actors including governments and development cooperation partners are considering options to work with commercial investors in order to increase benefits and minimize risks of land acquisitions and other business models.
The aim of the assignment was to provide concrete examples of what various actors have done in order to increase the benefits and avoid the risks of commercial agriculture investments for poor people.