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Guide 1: Preparing in advance for potential investors

Author: Namati & Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment , Published on: 12 September 2018

Unfortunately, consultations between communities and investors are typically characterized by significant information and power imbalances. Community members often don't know what rights they have, what fair compensation would be, or what is required to make a contract clear and enforceable. Without such a contract, communities are often powerless to hold an investor acting in bad faith accountable, demand remedies for environmental and social damages, or contain an expanding investment to the plot of land originally agreed upon. The Community-Investor Negotiation Guides equip communities and frontline advocates to engage with potential investors from a place of empowerment.

...This guide... details how a community can:

1) Create a shared vision for their future development, so they can assess whether an investment would be in their best interest;

2) Understand the holistic value of their land in order to better assess investors’ offers;

3) Make rules to guide how they and their leaders will interact with potential investors and help to manage their lands and natural resource sustainably and equitably;

4) Work to resolve intra-community conflicts around how to react to potential investors; and

5) Prepare for negotiations by researching the investor, creating a negotiating team, and agreeing on points the team will advocate for incorporation into the contract.

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