Economic liberalisation, improved transport and communication systems, and the global demand for energy, minerals and agricultural commodities have fostered natural resource investment in many lower- and middle-income countries. Increased investment may create opportunities to improve living standards, but it also creates risks such as environmental damage and loss of key livelihood assets like land, water and grazing.
Investment contracts define the terms of an investment project and the extent to which it advances - or undermines - sustainable development. Government capacity to negotiate and manage contracts and civil society capacity to scrutinise government dealings can make a real difference to getting a better deal from natural resource investment.
Drawing on test trainings in Ghana and Central Asia and targeting host governments and civil society, this guide discusses how to structure investment contracts for natural resource projects in ways that maximise the investment's contribution to sustainable development.