Over the last few years, agribusinesses, investment funds and government agencies have demonstrated a growing interest in acquiring large portions of land, mostly in developing countries and particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. In the host countries, investors and government see these acquisitions as opportunities to attract foreign investment that will enhance food and energy security and stimulate socio-economic development. Analysing a number of these deals in Africa suggests that these objectives are usually not attained and that their sustainability appears to be uncertain.
Even though tenants and landlords take into account environmental aspects when negotiating land deals, there is a lack of technical measures and tools to guide these negotiations. The aim of this document therefore is to provide technical guidelines to be used as a tool that may foster an enabling environment for sustainability and provide a basis for win-win investments that effectively contribute to the socio-economic development of the host countries; this is feasible when the arrangements benefit both the investors and the majority of the population in the given area.