Miscellaneous Knowledge Notes

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Environmental and Social Impact Assessments

2018-03, UNCTAD, World Bank

This note provides guidance on the conduct of environmental and social impact assessments (ESIAs) and the implementation of associated environmental and social management plans (ESMPs). Crop and livestock production, forestry, fisheries, and aquaculture all depend on the use of land, water, and other natural resources that are inextricably linked to rural livelihoods, social systems, values, and culture. ESIAs and ESMPs are key tools for identifying and assessing social and environmental risks and benefits at the planning stage of an investment, and for building risk mitigation measures into project design and implementation. Although usually legislative requirements, too often they have been treated as box-ticking exercises. There remainssignificant room for improvement in the conduct of assessment and the rigor with which findings are incorporated into management plans.

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Enhancing Local Economic Impact

2018-03-01, UNCTAD, World Bank

This note provides guidance on how to ensure that an agricultural investment generates positive impacts on the local economy by encouraging and supporting opportunities arising for individuals, farmers, businesses, and institutions. Investments can have a transformative impact on the communities where they are located. Much of this impact can be long term, and go beyond the immediate activities of the investors, through economic linkages and spillover effects. Positive impacts on the local economy are not automatic: the policies and practices of the investor and the government influence outcomes. Careful management and choice of agricultural investments, and provision of complementary initiatives by investors and by governments, can maximize the benefits arising from economic linkages and spillovers while minimizing the risks.

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Relocation and Resettlement

2018-03, UNCTAD, World Bank

This note provides guidance on approaches to relocation and resettlement of people. Although resettlement is ideally avoided, the complexities of unclear, unrecognized, informal, and overlapping land claims in many areas means that it is an issue that investors and governments often need to address. Field research suggests room for improvement in processes and outcomes where resettlement had been undertaken. Critical factors for success included how resettled people perceived that their living situations had changed after resettlement, which includes compensation, access to livelihood opportunities, and social services. Also important was the extent to which people were consulted, where involved in decision making, and had access to grievance mechanisms.

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Community Engagement Strategies

2018-03, UNCTAD, World Bank

This note provides guidance on the overall approach to consulting, engaging, and partnering with local communities, to bridge gaps in information and expectation between communities and investors and create the social license to operate. Engaging with local communities and other stakeholders is both socially responsible and a business imperative; investors that are well integrated with the local community are more likely to be financially successful. Effective engagement is necessary across all phases of the investment project, from the initial mapping, consultations withcommunities, and contract negotiations to the establishment of a grievance mechanism, ongoing community dialogue, and monitoring of both environmental and social impacts. Aligning the expectations and understanding of investors and communities creates the necessary environment for mutual benefit.

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Participation of Youth

2018-03, UNCTAD, World Bank

This note provides examples that investors, civil society, and governments can follow to engage youth in participating in agriculture. Young people can be the driving force for the inclusive rural transformation needed to address the many challenges posed by growing populations, urbanization, and youth unemployment. Yet, many young people are frustrated by the lifestylesand opportunities available in rural areas. They face barriers to their participation in agriculture, including inadequate access to training, land, credit, and markets, and a lack of voice in the decision-making processes that affect their futures. Strategies are needed to better engage youth in the agriculture sector.

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Respecting Land Rights and Averting Land Disputes

2018-03-01, UNCTAD, World Bank

This note provides guidance on how to ensure that agricultural investments respect existing land rights, both formal and informal, and thereby avert land disputes. Failure to respect land rights - in particular country - or region-specific land tenure systems and history, including use by pastoralists - has negative consequences for communities and other stakeholders. It is also financially damaging for investors who shortcut due process and end up spending time and money dealing with land disputes.