Sustainable Investment in Agriculture

May 22, 2019 12:00 pm — 1:00 pm
Webinar only

Presented by the International Bar Association, supported by the National Agriculture Law Center and the Environmental Law Institute

The concept of ‘sustainability’ elicits a range of interpretations and diverse legal, regulatory, and practical implications. Anchoring ‘sustainability’ within a legal construct and limiting the fluidity of the concept is well underway, but very much a work in progress, in particular in the context of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Similarly, defining the concept of sustainable investment and rooting it in a legal framework is underway but very much an evolving area of legal practice. Important guidance has been provided at international levels, in particular in the form of the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS-RAI) and the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT), both of which were endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security, a joint intergovernmental body of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations (UN). Derived from these, further guidance material has been produced by FAO, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), bilateral agencies, international non-governmental organisations, and research institutions. Sustainability is very much an element of responsibility in this context. These materials have game changing implications to help ensure agricultural investment evolves in a way to keep pace with the world’s demand for food, but to do so sustainably, efficiently and cleanly while respecting the human rights and tenure rights of individuals and local communities.

This webinar focused on emerging legal issues in the area of sustainable and responsible investment in agriculture, taking the CFS-RAI and VGGT as a starting point. Presenters discussed the following topics, evolving issues, and ongoing work:

  • Emerging tools and legal models for ensuring sustainable investment in agriculture, with a focus on the UNIDROIT initiative;
  • Due diligence for proposed investments;
  • Financial instruments; and
  • Where do we go from here?

Speakers include:
Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner, Bergeson & Campbell, Washington, DC (Moderator)
Margret Vidar, LEGN, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome
Kate Cook, Matrix Law, London
Katherine Meighan, General Counsel, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Rome
Valerie Johnston, LEGN, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome