The following is a complete list of RRI publications.

For questions regarding a specific publication, email us at mqureshi@rightsandresources.org.

  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008

Forest Land Acquisition by Stora Enso in South China: Status, Issues, and Recommendations

April 16, 2014

This report – a follow-up to our 2010 investigation on Stora Enso’s land acquisition in China, which revealed violations of forest farmers’ property rights – assesses the company’s efforts to address rights infringements identified in 2010.

Prepared with Landesa, the report identifies several corrective actions taken by Stora Enso to remedy the situation, including suspending further acquisition of collective forest land, making corrections to 35 percent of its existing contracts, and launching an internal screening and correction process for existing contracts. Despite these measures, however, a number of legal and operational flaws in these corrective actions were found and many issues remain unresolved.

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What Future for Reform?

March 26, 2014

Who owns the world’s forests, and who decides on their governance? The answers to these questions are still deeply contested. To many Indigenous Peoples and local communities who have lived in and around forests for generations, the forests belong to them, under locally defined systems of customary tenure. In most countries, however, governments have claimed ownership of much of the forest estate through historical processes of expropriation, and those claims have been formalized in statutory laws. While governments are increasingly recognizing local ownership and control of forests, forest tenure arrangements remain in dispute or unclear in many places, including low, middle, and highincome countries.

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Status of Forest Carbon Rights and Implications for Communities, the Carbon Trade, and REDD+ Investments

March 19, 2014

The Warsaw Framework on REDD+ adopted by Parties to the UNFCCC in November 2013 paves the way for payments to flow to developing countries for carbon emissions reductions from forests. The new framework encourages countries to set up a national entity or designated focal point for REDD+, which will be eligible to receive financing to implement REDD+ activities and strategies. The climate community has generally welcomed this decision as a landmark achievement, although there has been some criticism regarding the lack of a mechanism to implement social and environmental safeguards to protect the rights of local peoples.

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Lots of Words, Little Action

February 5, 2014

The annual review of the state of rights and resources 2013-2014.

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India's Forest and Common Lands

October 9, 2013

A major gap in understanding the situation in India with respect to land and its control is the takeover of common lands, which rarely figures in discourses on land. The Society for Promotion of Wastelands Development (SPWD, New Delhi) and RRI commissioned case studies on the takeover of common lands in India in an attempt to fill this gap. This paper is a compilation of those studies. Based on these case studies, an international conference was held in December 2012 to reflect the current situation and discuss possible policy actions.

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Global Capital, Local Concessions

September 18, 2013

Using geospatial data from 12 emerging market economies (EMEs), this analysis attempts to guide investors in emerging markets by shedding light on a difficult problem: overlapping land claims that diminish the value and viability of industrial concessions. It refers to this as “land tenure risk”.From these datasets and an examination of research and financial information, the report concludes that land tenure risk is a statistically significant source of risk in EME concession investments, and extends across all land-dependent sectors regardless of concession type.

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Les droits forestiers des femmes africaines

June 17, 2013

These are four policy briefs in a suite of analyses undertaken by RRI’s Africa Program, focusing on gender policy and women’s rights in forest and land policy in Central and West Africa. The analyses focuses on four countries: Mali, Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Liberia. They summarize longer studies carried out by RRI collaborators IUCN and Cameroon Ecology.

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Les droits de tenure au service du développement

June 12, 2013

Le développement durable est devenu un objectif global clé lors du Sommet de la Terre en 1992. Au cours de ces vingt dernières années, la gestion des forêts par les populations autochtones et les communautés locales a connu quelques progrès.

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RRI Framework Agreement for 2013-2017

June 5, 2013

This is RRI's proposed and agreed-upon action framework for 2013-2017.

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The Financial Risks of Insecure Land Tenure

May 24, 2013

In recent years, one of the oldest asset classes in investment – land – has become an issue of international concern and scrutiny. Land acquisitions are being announced at a breakneck pace as companies look to produce more food, wood fiber, minerals and energy.The undeniably high and sustained profit potential of this land is thought to be offset by meager, manageable costs. Not only is the land itself cheap, but the ongoing outlays required to convert that land’s output into saleable goods is quite low. This all seems very compelling when confined to spreadsheets, but as these acquisitions become more common, we are beginning to see substantive discrepancies between investment concept and operational practice.In examining the evidence, a pattern emerges. Many investors and operators have committed time, money and effort without understanding some considerable risks, ones usually considered externalities in the normal course of business. This report gives perspective on one such risk. Completely unknown to most investors, “land tenure” is a catch-all phrase used by field specialists to define a set of problems related to control over a given parcel of land. Property rights in many emerging markets are dysfunctional to the point that ownership of land can be granted to an investor without the tens of thousands of people living on, or dependent on, that land knowing about it.This report shows that unresolved conflicts over land tenure significantly augment the financial risks for companies in infrastructure, mining, agriculture and forestry. By themselves, delays caused by land tenure problems can inflate a project's expenditures by an order of magnitude – and in some cases these losses have even been great enough to endanger the future of the corporate parent itself.

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RRI's Rationale for Engagement in Countries

May 2, 2013

This document describes the rationale for RRI's engagement in 17 developing countries around the world.

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Policy Brief: Social and Environmental Impacts of Agricultural Large- Scale Land Acquisitions in Africa

April 23, 2013

This brief draws from a longer paper that reviews the evidence on the social and environmental impacts of LSLAs in Africa, with a particular focus on West and Central Africa.

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Propriétaires fonciers ou paysans sans terre

April 3, 2013

Au cours de l’année 2012, il est apparu clairement que les pays en voie de développement devaient faire un choix fondamental. Opteraient-ils pour un développement basé sur l’inclusion, le respect de la loi et des droits de leurs citoyens ? Ou chercheraient-ils un moyen rapide d’accéderau développement en cédant la terre et les ressources naturelles des communautés auxinvestisseurs internationaux et aux élites nationales ? Transformeraient-ils leurs propriétaires fonciers en paysans sans terre ?

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Propietarios o trabajadores sin tierras

March 25, 2013

Durante 2012, se hizo más evidente que nunca que los países en vías de desarrollo afrontarían una de las decisiones más críticas que se les ha presentado. ¿Tomarían el camino hacia un desarrollo fundamentado en la inclusión, el respeto de los derechos de sus ciudadanos y el estado de derecho? ¿O buscarían un atajo para alcanzar el desarrollo, que conllevara la entrega de las tierras comunitarias y los recursos naturales a inversionistas internacionales y élites nacionales? ¿Convertirían a su población rural en propietarios, o en meros trabajadores sin tierras?

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Impacto de las Industrias Extractivas en los Derechos Colectivos sobre Territorios y Bosques de los Pueblos y las Comunidades

March 22, 2013

Este documento resume las principales conclusiones de un informe más extenso preparado por Margarita Flórez, Directora e investigadora de la Asociación Ambiente y Sociedad. Este informe fue encomendado por la Iniciativa para los Derechos y Recursos con el objetivo de documentar y analizar los impactos de las industrias extractivas en los derechos colectivos sobre territorios y bosques de los pueblos y las comunidades en Colombia, Perú, Guatemala y Panamá. Se hace énfasis en la minería, dado su aumento en intensidad, cantidad y cobertura en las dos últimas décadas, particularmente sobre territorios de los Pueblos Indígenas y Afrodescendientes que habitan en zonas objeto de las actividades de esta industria.

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Impact of the Extractive Industry on the Collective Land and Forest Rights of People and Communities

March 21, 2013

This document summarizes the main conclusions of a more in-depth report, prepared by Margarita Flórez, Asociación Ambiente y Sociedad. The report was commissioned by the Rights and Resources Initiative to document and analyze the impacts of the extractive industries on the collective land and forest rights of people and communities in Colombia, Peru, Guatemala, and Panama. It focuses on mining activities because of their increased intensity, number, and range in the last two decades, particularly in land owned by indigenous and Afro-descendant communities.

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Impacto de las Industrias Extractivas en los Derechos Colectivos sobre Territorios y Bosques de los Pueblos y las Comunidades

March 21, 2013

En este trabajo se recopilan y analizan algunos aspectos del impacto de las industrias extractivas. Se hace énfasis en la minería dado su aumento en intensidad, cantidad y cobertura en las dos últimas décadas, particularmente sobre territorios de los Pueblos Indígenas y Afrodescendientes que habitan en zonas objeto de las actividades de esta industria. Así mismo se estudian las repercusiones sobre los bosques naturales.

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Réformes de Tenure Forestière et Foncière en Afrique Centrale et de l’Ouest

March 7, 2013

La présente note de politique fait le point sur les réformes des tenures forestière etfoncière en Afrique centrale et de l’Ouest. Elle prend comme point de référence lesrecommandations de la conférence internationale de Yaoundé de 2009 sur la Tenure, la Gouvernance et les Entreprises Forestières et plus particulièrement celle invitant les États d’Afrique centrale et de l’Ouest ainsi que les institutions régionales et sous régionales à initier ou accélérer à l’horizon 2015 des réformes des régimes statutaires de tenure en vue d’« une reconnaissance légale des communautés comme propriétaires des terres forestières » ou de « doubler la superficie des terres qui appartiennent aux communautés ».

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Impacts sociaux et environnementaux des acquisitions de terres à grande échelle destinées à l’agriculture en Afrique

March 7, 2013

Cette note vise à dépasser les bases de données sur l’ampleur et les tendances des acquisitions de terres à grande échelle (ATGE) afin d’examiner les éléments disponibles sur les impacts sociaux et environnementaux des ATGE en Afrique, avec un accent particulier sur l’Afrique de l’Ouest et centrale (AOC).

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Impacts sociaux et environnementaux des acquisitions de terres à grande échelle destinées à l’agriculture en Afrique, en particulier en Afrique occidentale et centrale

March 7, 2013

La présente étude porte sur les impacts sociaux et environnementaux relevés, par opposition aux impacts prévus ou probables, des transactions de terres à grande échelle (ATGE) en Afrique, avec une attention particulière à l’Afrique occidentale et centrale (AOC). L’élément central du rapport repose sur une analyse de 18 études de cas qui sont parmi les ATGE les mieux documentées en termes d’impacts. Cependant, ces études ne constituent pas un échantillon représentatif. Les 18 études de cas concernent le Cameroun, le Ghana, le Libéria, le Mali, le Rwanda, le Sénégal et la Sierra Leone en AOC, et le Mozambique, la Tanzanie et la Zambie en Afrique de l’Est.

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Land and Forest Tenure Reforms in West and Central Africa

March 6, 2013

This policy brief looks at land and forest tenure reforms in West and Central Africa. Ituses the recommendations from the 2009 International Conference in Yaoundé on Forest Tenure, Governance, and Enterprise as its points of reference, particularly those calling on Central and West African states, and regional and sub-regional institutions to initiate or accelerate reforms to statutory tenure systems that would lead to the “legal recognition of community owned forests” or the “doubling of land areas under community ownership” by 2015.

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Social and Environmental Impacts of Agricultural Large-Scale Land Acquisitions in Africa

March 6, 2013

This study focuses on the reported (as opposed to predicted or likely) social and environmental impacts of large-scale land transactions in Africa, with a focus on West and Central Africa. The core of the report is an analysis of 18 case studies that are among the best-documented LSLAs in terms of their impacts. These case studies cover Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia. Impacts were classified into five groups: tenure impacts, land governance process and impacts, economic and livelihood impacts, human and sociocultural impacts, and environmental impacts.

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Land and Forest Tenure Reforms in Central and West Africa

March 5, 2013

For the past few decades, statutory tenure systems in African countries were subjected to small legal changes whose main feature was the devolution of rights and responsibilities to peripheral actors, especially local communities. In other sub-continents, more decisive and substantive changes have reformed the structure of land and forest tenure rights by recognizing and allocating property rights to local and indigenous communities. In 2009, West and Central African countries organized an international conference on “Forest Tenure, Governance, and Enterprise” in Yaoundé, Cameroon. New challenges – such as those related to large-scale land acquisitions – were discussed and recommendations were proposed. This report provides a preliminary assessment of the implementation of those recommendations

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RRI Strategic Priorities for 2013

March 4, 2013

RRI strategic priorities for 2013. Includes overarching priorities, strategic analysis, networking support, communications and outreach, strategic initiatives, country and regional initiatives, coalition coordination, and operations.

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Réformes de tenure forestière et foncière en Afrique centrale et de l’Ouest

February 28, 2013

Depuis quelques décennies, les régimes statutaires de tenure des pays africains sont l’objet d’une légère mutation juridique caractérisée principalement par un effort de dévolution de droits et responsabilités à des acteurs périphériques, notamment les communautés locales. Dans des pays d’autres sous-continents (Amérique latine, Asie du Sud-Est et Extrême Orient), ce sont des changements plus décisifs et substantifs qui sont en train d’affecter significativement la structure des droits de tenure foncière et forestière, avec la reconnaissance et l’allocation de droits de propriété aux communautés locales et indigènes.

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RRI Institutional and Business Arrangements

Author/Org: Rights and Resources Initiative

February 21, 2013

This updated document outlines the guiding framework for collaboration and governance of the RRI. It explains the rationale and aims of the organization, and the rights and obligations of Partners in the Coalition.

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Investments into the Agribusiness, Extractive, and Infrastructure Sectors of Liberia

February 20, 2013

This paper seeks to characterize and quantify the regional investment trends of organizations investing in Liberian agribusiness, infrastructure, and extractive industries, to better understand their roles in land acquisition as related to deforestation and human rights. Though the methodology is here applied to Liberia, the same analysis will be applied to other countries including Cameroon, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Colombia, and Peru.

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Landowners or Laborers

February 4, 2013

During 2012, a key choice facing developing countries revealed itself ever more starkly. Would they choose a development path built on inclusiveness, respect for the rights of their citizens, and the rule of law? Or would they seek a short-cut to development and opt to hand over community land and natural resources to international investors and national elites? Would they turn their rural citizens from landowners into landless laborers?It became clear during the year that many countries were desperate to replicate the recent economic successes of China and Brazil. Many are tired of being poor and are eager to see their economies grow quickly. Countries of sub-Saharan Africa aspire to be “lion economies,” following in the footsteps of Asia’s “tiger economies.” But the parallels are poor. Brazil, China, and Asia’s tigers drove economic development by liberating local enterprises and establishing local property rights. In Africa, nations have surrendered economic and political control of their land and resources, in effect, replicating economic systems created during the colonial era driven by resource extraction and export.The lesson of history is clear. The inequalities and disempowerment resulting from these extractive political and economic systems are replicating the “resource curse,” in which nations become trapped in poverty and are riven by resentment and internal conflict, with growing risks of political turmoil. If countries choose open and inclusive democratic systems they can avoid this fate. But they will need to recognize local property rights and develop strong civil societies that keep citizens informed and hold leaders to account.1RRI’s annual review of forest tenure data highlights the different choices made by forest countries over the past decade. Some have chosen to make progressive changes to their forest ownership systems. Yet, others have stagnated and avoided recognizing the full rights of forest-dwelling citizens. In 2012, some developing countries took the first steps to embrace such reforms, but many remain on the wrong track. All face major decisions about what type of country they will become. As we look to 2013, we ask: will countries around the developing world choose to be societies of citizen landowners or landless laborers?

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DRC Scoping Mission

January 31, 2013

DRC Scoping Mission: Opportunities in the Current Forest and Land Tenure Landscape

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Mission de Cadrage en RDC

January 31, 2013

Mission de Cadrage en RDC: Opportunités dans le contexte actuel de la foncière et forestière pour fiare progresser les droits de tenure communautaires

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