COVID-19 and land-based investment: changing landscapes

Project report
, 20 pages
Published: May 2021
Product code:20256X

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have been felt across multiple levels and sectors. These impacts and their wider reverberations can overlap or converge in many diverse ways and have the potential to shape the context in which land-based investments take place. Understanding the new pressures and opportunities created by the pandemic is critical to promote a just and sustainable recovery.

This report prepared by IIED and the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) explores emerging issues within the context of the socioeconomic and financial pressures created by the pandemic. COVID-related developments within Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia were tracked across three broad levels, namely the political economy context; governance systems and regulatory frameworks related to land-based investments; and developments around specific land-based investments.

The report reflects on the deeper drivers of change within these contexts and how these issues may result in longer-term shifts relevant to land-based investments. Pressures causing an intensified focus on attracting investments in land-based resources, food-security linked interest in agricultural investments, increased interests in mining following the drop in oil prices and a growing push towards renewables, and potential carbon-market related land pressures, particularly in the global South, have all emerged. While further monitoring will show how these trends evolve over time, the relevance of land-based investments and their governance to a just and sustainable pandemic recovery is clear.