Land deals and investment treaties. Visualising the interface

December 2015
IIED (Lorenzo Cotula and Thierry Berger)

International investment treaties are an important part of the legal frameworks governing foreign investment. This report measures the extent to which they apply to agribusiness investments initiated as part of the recent wave of large-scale land deals in low and middle-income countries. It finds that 70% of ‘land grab’ deals worldwide are protected by at least one investment treaty. Public action to terminate, renegotiate or regulate land deals could expose states to the risk of treaty-based arbitration claims.