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Guidance on responsible investment

The IAWG supports responsible agricultural investment through the provision of practical guidance. This includes supporting the development and dissemination of international guidance instruments and developing practical tools such as knowledge notes to support their application by a wide range of stakeholders.

International instruments to which the IAWG has contributed

Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS-RAI)
The CFS-RAI principles are the first global guidance instrument on responsible agricultural investment that was developed by governments, private companies and civil society organizations through an inclusive multi-stakeholder process. The principles were endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in 2014. The IAWG actively supported and contributed to this consultation process. The CFS-RAI take into account the Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investment that respects rights, livelihoods and resources (PRAI, see information below).
OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains
OECD and FAO jointly developed the OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains to help enterprises observe standards of responsible business conduct, including the CFS-RAI principles. Members of the IAWG provided technical advice during the development process.
Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investment that respects rights, livelihoods and resources (PRAI)
The PRAI were conceived by the IAWG in 2009 as a contribution to an ongoing dialogue. The IAWG held several consultations on the PRAI until 2011, when the CFS took the lead role in organizing consultations on responsible investment principles. These resulted in the development of the CFS-RAI.

Specific guidance on investment contracts

Going beyond the development of broad frameworks, the IAWG has developed a number of concrete solutions on how to negotiate contracts with investors that ensure that larger-scale land acquisitions contribute to sustainable development. In particular, working in partnership with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), UNCTAD and the World Bank published “Investment Contracts for Agriculture: Maximizing Gains and Minimizing Risks”.

Knowledge into Action Notes

Based on lessons-learnt and the broad spectrum of experiences collected by the IAWG to date, UNCTAD and the World Bank have developed a series of “Knowledge into Action Notes”. The purpose of the Notes is to provide user-friendly and actionable information to practitioners, including governments, the private sector, communities and civil society, to support their efforts to implement the RAI principles into their daily operations. Each Note covers a specific issue related to agricultural investment, and provides practical guidance on what works and what does not work. The Notes can be downloaded here.