Lorenzo Cotula's blog posts

25 May 2016 |

The commodity slump has cooled the global land rush. But land rights are still under pressure, requiring action at local to global levels.

17 February 2016 |

New research examining the geographical coverage of international investment treaties raises concern about how they might affect public action to address 'land grabbing'.

20 October 2015 |

Many land deals are still kept secret. Will a new online resource change the game?

7 September 2015 |

There are growing calls to reform international investment law, but how can we ensure that the people affected by these decisions are part of the debate?

8 July 2015 |

Commercial land concessions may be protected under international investment law, with important implications for local land relations. Lorenzo Cotula argues that securing land rights requires tackling these global dimensions.

19 January 2015 |

The House of Commons has been debating the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). But will the UK parliament use its powers to debate a bilateral investment treaty signed with Ethiopia?

20 October 2014 |

If foreign investment is to promote inclusive sustainable development, investment policy must take human rights seriously.

10 July 2014 |

The European Union's negotiations with the United States over the investment chapter of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership propose a more balanced text than many earlier treaties. But the EU has not made a compelling case for including an investment chapter in the first place.

19 May 2014 |

Investor-state arbitrations can affect important areas of public policy – from environmental protection to public health. Yet many people may have never heard about this mechanism for settling disputes between investors and states, particularly in low and middle-income countries.

14 November 2013 |

As trade talks regain momentum, 'land grab' activists are scrutinising negotiations and pioneering new opportunities for public accountability.

16 October 2013 |

A new report claims that European demand for biofuels is not to blame for land acquisitions in poorer countries. But evidence suggests that the issue is more complex than the biofuels industry would like us to believe.

15 July 2013 |

African governments have played a key role in allocating land to investors. Recent developments hold out promise for more carefully thought out approaches by them in the future.

1 May 2013 |

A recent US judgment is a setback in efforts to improve corporate accountability, but promising developments elsewhere are creating new opportunities.

17 April 2013 |

Greater transparency was a key theme at the World Bank land conference last week. Transparency is critical, but without greater accountability to local communities it is not enough.

8 March 2013 |

In January, the president of Benin and the prime minister of Canada announced they had signed a new bilateral investment treaty (BIT). The treaty, which is now publicly available, is just the latest in a large number of BITs signed by African countries over the past 20 years.