Supporting national efforts in achieving responsible land based investments

The last decade has seen increase in land based investments around the world. Concerns have been raised over the impact of land-based agricultural investments on communities especially, women and men, small holders, land users and other vulnerable groups. This is because experiences show that in many land-based agricultural investments, the benefits received by local smallholder farmers and communities are outweighed by involuntary loss of their land rights and the accompanying threats to their livelihood. In response to these concerns, a number of international guidelines have been drafted aimed at providing guidance for responsible land based investments. These international guidelines include the African Union Guiding Principles, and the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGT).

Though very useful, implementing these voluntary guidelines and their associated implementation strategies effectively at the country level have proved challenging because they remain at a high level, requiring further unpacking to make them responsive to the specific dynamics at the country level. It is in this respect that the Responsible Investment in Property and Land (RIPL) project, funded by DFID, is being implemented in Ghana by COLANDEF and Landesa. Both organizations are dedicated to strengthening land tenure security, especially for smallholder land users to bring about social and economic development.

The RIPL project intends to support efforts initiated by the Government of Ghana to operationalize the International guidelines in our local context. The project is designed to work with key stakeholders from Communities, Government and Investors in Ghana to develop practical guidelines that take into consideration the local context and dynamics of the land sector in Ghana.

The project is focused on using the principles from the International Guidelines and the local dynamics in Ghana’s land governance system to develop national guidelines that supports participation by communities, government, and investors to achieve socially responsible and sustainable land-based agricultural investments.

RIPL is a one year project, ending December 2016. Within this period, field research and stakeholder engagements will be conducted to generate information for the national guidelines.