Dealing with Disclosure: Improving Transparency in Decision-Making Over Large-Scale Aquisitions, Allocations and Investments | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
December 2012
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

Land deals are frequently agreed in secret between governments and investors. This lack of transparency in the allocation of land fosters an environment where elite capture of natural assets becomes the norm, where human rights are routinely abused with impunity, where environmental destruction is ignored and where investment incentives are stacked against companies willing to adhere to ethical and legal principles. Dealing with Disclosure, produced in conjunction with the International Land Coalition and the Oakland Institute, sets out for the first time in detail what governments, companies and citizens can do to ensure against the negative impacts of secretive land deals. The report’s key recommendation is that all contractual information be made publicly available unless investors or governments can prove this would harm commercial competitiveness or public interest – a principle it calls “if in doubt, disclose”. Companies should have to prove their operations are doing no harm, rather than communities with little information or power having to prove that a land deal is negatively affecting them. The report also reveals how opening up the process around large-scale land deals would not only benefit local communities but also governments and investors. Investors would enjoy a level playing field, reduced risks of corruption, and expensive and damaging conflicts with communities. Greater transparency would also enable governments to make more informed decisions and negotiate better deals when allocating commercial rights to land.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Global_Witness, _

Corporate Author(s): 

Global Witness exposes the hidden links between demand for natural resources, corruption, armed conflict and environmental destruction


Many of the world’s worst environmental and human rights abuses are driven by the exploitation of natural resources and corruption in the global political and economic system.  Global Witness is campaigning to end this. We carry out hard-hitting investigations, expose these abuses, and campaign for change.  We are independent, not-for-profit, and work with partners around the world in our fight for justice.

Data provider

The purpose of the Mekong Land Research Forum online site is to provide structured access to published and unpublished research on land issues in the Mekong Region. It is based on the premise that debates and decisions around land governance can be enhanced by drawing on the considerable volume of research, documented experience and action-based reflection that is available.

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