IIED to host webinar on promoting accountability in agricultural investment chains


This webinar on 11 September 2015 discussed how communities groups can take action to get increased accountability in agricultural investment chains

Phnom Penh: activists, students, monks and community members deliver  a petition to Cambodia's National Assembly calling for increased protection for the country's natural resources (Photo: Luon Sovath, Creative Commons via Flickr)

Citizens groups around the world are taking action to change the way that investments in natural resources are happening, and working to protect the environment and the rights of citizens.

On 11 September 2015, IIED hosted a webinar on 'Promoting accountability in agricultural investment chains: lessons from practical experience'. This online seminar was designed for civil society organisations in low and middle-income countries that want to support communities whose land rights and livelihoods are affected by agricultural investment chains. Many large-scale agricultural projects involve a 'web' of global actors (e.g. banks, companies importing farm produces) that are all part of an 'investment chain'.  

The webinar was led by IIED and the guest speaker was the managing director at the NGO Inclusive Development International (IDI), David Pred. He shared his practical experience in promoting accountability in relation to land concessions in Cambodia.

The webinar also saw the launch of a new guide on accountability in agricultural investment chains, prepared by IIED and IDI. The publication set out practical strategies for holding organisations involved in agricultural investment chains accountable.

The webinar was part of IIED's work on Legal Tools for Citizen Empowerment. The legal tools initiative aims to help local communities protect their rights in the face of natural resource investments.

In May, IIED produced a short animated film that was designed to help grassroots organisations understand the complexities of international investment chains, find opportunities to influence the terms of land deals and hold actors to account for any harm done. 

An introduction to the webinar and the topic by Philippine Sutz, senior researcher at IIED, wasfollowed by a presentation from the speaker and a facilitated discussion among the webinar participants (including Lorenzo Cotula, principal researcher at IIED and team leader, legal tools).

About the speaker

David Pred has worked with grassroots movements around the world, helping to hold governments, corporations and financial institutions accountable for land grabs, forced displacement and related human rights violations. He has represented communities at international human rights and accountability mechanisms.

In 2003, he founded Bridges Across Borders Cambodia (BABC), an international solidarity organisation. In 2012, he oversaw the transformation of BABC into Equitable Cambodia, which is today one of Cambodia's leading national human rights organisations. He also co-founded the Cambodian Housing Rights Task Force (HRTF). He has extensive experience developing community education and empowerment materials on corporate accountability and the defence of land, housing and natural resource rights.


For more information about IIED's Legal Tools work, contact:

Lorenzo Cotula (lorenzo.cotula@iied.org), team leader, legal tools