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February 2018 Newsletter

Dear Colleagues,

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) is pleased to update you on several events, recent publications and projects at the Center. Please check our website for more information about these and other activities.

Publications

Upcoming Events

Announcements and Projects

Massive Open Online Course on Natural Resources for Sustainable Development 
The challenges and opportunities for leveraging natural resources for sustainable development are as critical as ever, and CCSI is pleased to announce the relaunch of the free, popular massive open online course (MOOC) on Natural Resources for Sustainable Development: The Fundamentals of Oil, Gas and Mining Governance.  Now in its fourth edition, this joint course was developed by CCSI, the Natural Resource Governance Institute and the World Bank, and has enrolled thousands of participants from all over the world. This year's course has been updated with new content, and course materials are available in new languages for the upcoming semester that begins on February 5, 2018. Enrollment is still ongoing. For further information, to view the trailer, and to enroll, please visit here.

Publications

Resourcing Green Technologies through Smart Mineral Enterprise Development: A Case Analysis of Cobalt
Achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement requires the world to adopt "green technologies" such as renewable energies and electric transportation at an unprecedented scale. While many countries have implemented policies to spur the adoption of such technologies, a lack of focus has been placed on the sourcing of minerals that are required as inputs. As a result, there is likely to be a significant deficit that may constrain the adoption of green technologies. 
 
In this report we argue that a neglected area in addressing the mineral scarcity challenge is the private sector’s current trajectory for geological mineral exploration and the lack of innovative initiatives on material efficiency and recycling. We propose a Smart Mineral Enterprise Development, which entails a partnership between public and private entities, and focus on cobalt in our analysis.
Implementing Shared-Use of Mining Infrastructure to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals
Many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will only be achieved if the population has access to basic services, such as water, power, transport, and telecommunications. However, in many developing countries there is a lack of infrastructure to guarantee these services and there are insufficient public funds to finance growing needs. But in resource-rich countries, the mining sector can play a key role in increasing access to infrastructure. In Chapter 13 of the monograph Mining and Sustainable Development: Current Issues (Sumit K. Lodhia, ed., in Series: Routledge Studies of the Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development), Perrine Toledano and Nicolas Maennling outline how implementing shared-use mining-related infrastructure that fills some of the infrastructure funding gap may contribute to the post-2015 agenda by going through the relevant SDGs. The hyperlink to the chapter will soon be available on our website.

Blog: What Do We Mean by Investment Facilitation?
In this blog, CCSI staff members Lisa Sachs, Brook Güven and Jesse Coleman discuss calls for “investment facilitation," highlighting aspects of the potential investment facilitation agenda that could advance sustainable development and those that may ultimately undermine it.

Transparency and Community Empowerment around Land Investments in Cameroon
CCSI spoke with Samuel Nguiffo, founder of Cameroon’s Centre for Environment and Development (CED), about how CED has used OpenLandContracts.org in its work. In the short interview, Nguiffo describes how, with support from an OpenLandContracts.org Mini-Grant, CED developed a tool to help non-lawyers understand contractual obligations, assess company compliance with the obligations relevant to community rights or interests, and take action in cases of non-compliance.

Upcoming Events

March 1, 2018: Symposium on the Global Pact for the Environment in Bogotá, Colombia
CCSI is partnering with the Procuraduría de la Nación de Colombia to host a high level symposium on the Global Pact for the Environment, coinciding with the launch of a new SDG Center of Excellence in Bogotá. The symposium will bring regional experience and expertise with environmental rights, protection, and participation to bear on the proposal for a new environmental treaty. For those interested in attending, contact Nathan Lobel at nathan.lobel@law.columbia.edu.


March 14, 2018: Parallel Event on Land Rights and Rural Women at the 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women 

CCSI, together with Action Aid-Nairobi, the International Land Coalition, GROOTS Kenya, Landesa, the Rights and Resources Initiative, and Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Management, invites you to join a panel discussion on “Roots of Empowerment: Land Rights to Rural Women,” a parallel event at the 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62). The event will take place from 2:30 to 4:00 pm on March 14, on the Second Floor of the Church Center of the United Nations (777 United Nations Plaza, New York). Participants must be registered for CSW62 in order to attend. Further information will be posted soon on the events page of CCSI’s website.  

March 19-23, 2018: CCSI at the World Bank Land and Poverty Conference
CCSI is participating in three events at this year’s Land and Poverty Conference, in Washington, D.C. on March 19-23. For those who are planning to attend, please join us for a panel presentation on Scrutinizing Legal Support Gaps for Host Governments in the Context of Land Investments; a roundtable discussion on community-investor negotiations (time TBA); and a masterclass, presented in partnership with Namati, on Considering and Negotiating Community-Investor Contracts: A New Resource.

April 20, 2018: Webinar: Her Land Her Story 
CCSI, together with the Land Portal Foundation, the Cadasta Foundation and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s Thematic Network on Good Governance of Extractive and Land Resources, will co-host an interactive webinar to highlight the critical links between securing women’s land rights and promoting sustainable development. The webinar will feature selected stories from the Her Land Her Story campaign. Join us on Friday, April 20 from 9:30 to 1:00 am EDT / 2:30 to 4:00 pm GMT. Sign up here before Tuesday, April 17. Further information, including a confirmed list of speakers, will be posted soon on the events page of CCSI’s website. 

September 27-28, 2018: Save the Date: Annual Columbia International Investment Conference
This year’s Columbia International Investment Conference is on Multinationals in the Age of Sustainable Development: New Thinking on the Role of International Investment Agreements. The conference, taking place alongside the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, will build on a multi-year effort to identify guiding principles and practical approaches for aligning international investment treaties with the SDGs. Additional information will be posted shortly here.

Past Events

January 31-February 1, 2018: CONNEX Support Unit Advisory Committee in Paris, France
CCSI Resident Senior Fellow Karl P. Sauvant co-chaired a session of the CONNEX Support Unit Advisory Committee, of which he is the Coordinator, in Paris, France. The Committee is the key advisory body of the CONNEX Support Unit, which provides independent, high-quality, demand-oriented, multi-disciplinary, and rapid support as well as expertise during the negotiation of large-scale, complex investment contracts in the resource sector. 

Trainings

June – August 2018: Executive Trainings on Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development, Sustainable Investments in Agriculture and Investment Treaties and Arbitration for Government Officials

We are accepting applications for our three upcoming executive trainings: on Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development (June 4–15, 2018), Sustainable Investments in Agriculture (June 19–29, 2018) and Investment Treaties and Arbitration for Government Officials (July 30–August 9, 2018). Each program is designed to equip participants with the necessary skills, analytical tools and frameworks to address relevant challenges and opportunities, and to encourage a rich dialogue about best practices from around the globe. More information about each training, including brochures and applications, is available at the links above. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Participants will receive a Statement of Attendance from Columbia University.
 

Training Alumni Profile: Odenda Lumumba, Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Land Alliance

This month’s featured alumni profile is Odenda Lumumba, Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Land Alliance. Odenda is a human rights advocate who leads a network of civil society organizations and individuals campaigning for legal and institutional reforms related to land issues in Kenya. As an alumnus of the 2016 CCSI Executive Training on Sustainable Investment in Agriculture, Odenda champions the importance of taking a “multi-disciplinary approach to understanding the policies that drive investments in agriculture.” He reminds us that land rights are critical to sustainable, ethical agricultural investment, and urges young professionals to remain curious in order to become experts in land issues.

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