The international community has launched numerous initiatives to respond to land grabbing since the huge scale of this phenomenon became evident in 2008. The greatest progress so far has been made with voluntary guidelines, which require new procedures to ensure that they function effectively. The French Cooperation is now putting in place analytical tools and internal procedures to ensure that all activities supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the French Development Agency (including its subsidiary Proparco, which supports the private sector) follow these guidelines and that they are respected by French actors involved in agricultural investments that affect landholdings.
This task was assigned to the ‘Land Tenure and Development’ Technical Committee, a body that provides a forum to debate ideas and build on research findings and project experiences, co-chaired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and AFD. The Gret-IIED-Agter consortium that the committee appointed to lead this collective reflection has mobilized committee members and about ten AFD and Proparco project officers around the process.
In 2013 and 2014 the team used an iterative approach and a series of group and one-to-one meetings to review existing voluntary frameworks and produce an analytical framework and guide that each institution can now use to change their internal project appraisal procedures.