October 23, 2021

Global Resource: OpenLandContracts.org Launches, Access Contracts From Large-Scale Land and Agriculture Projects

Today, the Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) at Columbia University in partnership with the World Bank are launching OpenLandContracts.org (Beta), a searchable database of, “publicly available investment contracts for large-scale land, agriculture, and forestry projects.”

“Plain language” summaries of documents are also included in the database.

From the OpenLandContracts.org Website and FAQ:

“This is the first time this type of information has been gathered into a single, open repository available to all. New material will be added as it becomes available.

OpenLandContracts.org informs the growing campaign for disclosure of information around land-based investment in agriculture and forestry projects, and demonstrates that contract disclosure in relation to land-based investments is both feasible and valuable.

“The online repository includes: the full text of contracts; plain language summaries of each contract’s key social, environmental, human rights, fiscal, and operational terms; and tools for searching and comparing contracts. Our goal is to improve access to and understanding of these contracts in order to assist all stakeholders, and particularly those with limited resources, to understand key aspects of the contracts that govern land-based investments. At this time, contracts and summaries are available in French or English, depending on the country of origin.”

At launch, OpenLandContracts.org contains material from eight countries:

  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Congo
  • Ethiopia
  • Liberia
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Sudan
  • Timor-Leste

The types of documents available include:

  • Agricultural Development
  • Agreements
  • Concession Agreements
  • Forest Management Contracts
  • Investment Agreements
  • Investment Incentive Contracts
  • Land Lease Agreements
  • Memoranda of Understanding
  • Sub-leases
  • Timber Sale Contracts

Searchable/browsable data fields include:

  • Year Contract Signed
  • Company Name
  • Resource Type (Biofules, Coffee, Rice, Rubber, etc)
  • Contract Type

Search results can be viewed online and also downloaded into a .csv file.

The CCSI also makes a Guide to Forestry Contracts (34 pages; PDF) available at not charge.

Direct to OpenLandContracts.org

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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