E-learning land rights
This e-learning aims to enhance the understanding of land rights, its sub-themes and key stakeholders, which facilitates incorporating land rights into due diligence processes. The e-learning also provides various practical examples of active stewardship on this theme.
Implementing due diligence processes when investing is increasingly required with the adoption of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD). Not only are land rights material risks for institutional investors, but they are also mentioned multiple times in the Directive and its Annex I. Below, you can read more about how land rights are integrated into European legislation.
Addressing land rights could be a step in fulfilling your obligations under ‘adverse human rights impacts’ of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive.
The European Commission has proposed the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, to foster sustainable and responsible corporate behaviour and to anchor human rights and environmental considerations in companies’ operations and corporate governance.
Obligations for institutional investors
The Directive incorporates the UNGP’s and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Corporations. The Directive obliges institutional investors to undertake human rights and environmental due diligence, as described in the Directive.
What does this entail?
Institutional investors are required to integrate due diligence in their policies, identify actual or potential adverse impacts, prevent mitigate and stop adverse impacts, monitor the effectiveness of due diligence and publicly communicate on their due diligence.
Risk identification and prioritization
After identifying potential and actual risks in their investment portfolio, investors should prioritise these risks in order to address them. These risks could be adverse human rights impacts or adverse environmental impacts.
Human rights and themes
‘Adverse human rights impacts’ means an adverse impact on protected persons resulting from a violation of the rights or prohibitions listed in Annex I of the Directive. The Annex lists violations of rights and prohibitions included in international human rights agreements, human rights and fundamental freedom conventions, and violations of internationally recognised objectives and prohibitions included in environmental objectives. Violations hereof can all constitute adverse human rights impacts
Annex I of the Directive contains various adverse human rights impacts relating to land rights that institutional investors must consider in their due diligence. These include, amongst others, indigenous peoples’ right to the lands, territories and resources, and people's right to dispose of a land's natural resources and to not be deprived of means of subsistence. The violation of the prohibition of causing any measurable environmental degradation, such as harmful soil change, water or air pollution, harmful emissions or excessive water consumption or other impact on natural resources also relates to the theme of land rights.