Earth Institute Research Projects

Community Development Requirements: Domestic Laws, Best Practices, and Community Development Agreements Database

Lead PI:

Unit Affiliation: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI)

Unknown start date - Ongoing
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: Investments in extractive industries, agriculture and forestry often include processes for sharing benefits with, or fostering development of, project-affected communities.

These benefit-sharing arrangements are often governed by agreements between the investor and project-affected communities. In some contexts—especially for mining and forestry projects—governments are increasingly imposing legal requirements on companies to deliver benefits to local communities. Such requirements can take many forms, from loosely expressed obligations to provide benefits to local communities, through to more concrete obligations to establish community development plans, community development funds, and Community Development Agreements (CDAs). In other cases, companies and communities negotiate CDAs or other benefit sharing arrangements voluntarily (i.e., in the absence of legal requirements).

OUTCOMES: CCSI has a growing portfolio of activities regarding community development requirements and CDAs that includes: Mapping domestic legal requirements for community development in the context of mining projects; Policy and research on best practices around CDAs and benefit sharing for extractive, agricultural, and forestry projects; and, a repository of publicly available CDAs and other community-investor contracts concluded in the context of agriculture, forestry, extractives, renewables, and other natural resource projects.