Archive of completed law, economies and justice projects

IIED’s law, economies and justice programme aims to strengthen the rights of rural people in the face of natural resource investments. This archive page provides links to past projects.

Article, 11 June 2020
Law, economies and justice
A collaborative programme of work on renegotiating the law to promote fairer, more sustainable economies
An orangutan swinging between trees

Palm oil plantations are destroying the habitat of orangutans in Borneo. Multinationals say they are committed to sustainable production but deforestation, road building and land clearing are continuing (Photo: Seb Ruiz via FlickrCC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Since 2006 the law, economies and justice programme (formerly the Legal Tools for Citizen Empowerment initiative) has been researching how large-scale investments in natural resources such as agriculture, water and forestry impact local communities.

The initiative has been gathering insights into different approaches to governance and legal empowerment, and supporting those most directly affected by resource-based investments to exercise their rights.

Addressing the interplay between agribusiness investments and ape conservation

Commercial agriculture is impacting ape habitats in many countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Liberia, Cameroon, Uganda, Myanmar and Laos.This three-year project explored and improved the evidence base on the interplay between agribusiness investment and effective ape conservation.

It looked at the opportunities and constraints reflected in national and international law, and developed a longer-term strategy for effective use of legal tools to protect apes and ape habitats. Project outputs included a report synthesising key findings from a case study on the impact of large-scale oil palm plantations on an orangutan conservation in Borneo and a video capturing some of the wider issues.

The project also worked in Cameroon, focusing on commercial pressures around the Dja reserve, and that work is being continued as part of the LandCam project.