LANDdialogue

In the Netherlands, various stakeholders including the the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, companies and financial institutions, civil society organisations and knowledge institutes have repeatedly expressed their willingness and ambition to contribute to the improvement of land governance in countries where Dutch players are active. This has resulted in an initiative to organise the Dutch LANDdialogue (previously known as the Land Governance Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue).

Participants of the LANDdialogue, together with other interested stakeholders and partners, want to invest time and energy to effectively contribute from the Netherlands to the improvements of land governance in countries in which the Netherlands is active. It is their goal to promote the practical application and monitoring of improvement measures by the Dutch private sector, government, knowledge institutes and NGOs in line with the principles adopted in the VGGTs.

Learning about, and the development and application of practical solutions that lead to better land governance are central in the multi-stakeholder process. The backbone of this process comprises periodic dialogue sessions with key decision makers, in which representatives discuss lessons learned from cases, the relevance of certain issues, the possibility for generalisation/scaling up certain initiatives, and chances for influence. To maximise the effects of these discussions, representatives of organisations who can actually influence policy and regulations within their own sectors participate in these sessions. These periodic dialogues are chaired by the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. These sessions form the high level component of the LANDdialogue.

Objectives

  • To gain insight into and understanding of the actual nature, extent and severity of land governance issues and their effect in real life situations on different levels in different contexts;
  • To share examples of successful “concretisation” and application of recommendations which demonstrably improve land governance in line with the principles outlined in the VGGTs;
  • To look for generalisable examples of adaptations and applications of effective cooperation between Dutch/international stakeholders, which effectively and structurally contribute to reducing the chance of irresponsible investments;
  • To provide early, executable and regular evidence-based recommendations for application in Dutch businesses, social organisations, knowledge institutions and the government;
  • To design, test, evaluate and realise one or more early warning system(s) that in particular help investors but also other stakeholders to structurally reduce the chance on abuses and conflicts resulting from (the planning and/or implementation of) interventions;
  • To provide regular input in international processes, round-tables, coalitions, congresses etc., in which the ambitions and recommendations of the Netherlands are maximally shared, discussed and picked up on areas concerning policy coherence, impact improvement and sustainability in line with the VGGT.

Focus areas

  • VGGTs in practice
  • Alternative tenure and business models
  • Land administration
  • Women and land (see also here)

ONGOING ACTIVITIES

Land governance issues in International Responsible Business (IRBC) Agreements

Within the framework of the Netherlands Social and Economic Council (SER), representatives of different stakeholder groups work together to prepare a series of sectoral agreements on reponsible business conduct in an international context. Several sectoral agreements have resulted from this process, and others are being negotiated. In support of these initiatives, the LANDdialogue has commissioned a study reviewing the land governance-related risks of a range of economic sectors. The report (February 2018) prepared by the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) can be found here.

Reference Guide for Risk Assessment in relation to LAND

As part of the LANDdialogue, APG initiated the development of a LGD_Reference Guide 2017. The guide was commissioned by the Organizing Committee of the LANDdialogue and provides a useful tool that can help investors identify and monitor ESG risks, and gives an overview of available information on general land-related topics for specific sectors and regions, including land use legislation for a number of countries.

Investments in real estate, large scale infrastructure, farmland and timber assets are becoming increasingly popular among institutional investors. Investments involving land acquisition carry a unique set of social and environmental risks and require specialist expertise for successful due diligence.

On 6 March 2018, 15.00 – 16.00 hrs (GMT), PRI is hosting a Webinar to present and discuss the Guide. More information about this online event can be found on the website of PRI: Webinar Planting the Seeds.

New initiatives
Stakeholders from the infrastructure sector in the Netherlands have gathered during several introductory meetings. More information to follow soon!

Partners