1. What is OpenLandContracts.org?
4. How do I search for contracts?
- Use the search bar on the Home and Search pages of the site
- Find different categories of contracts by clicking on the icon near the OpenLandContracts.org name in the top left corner
- View contracts by Country or Resource
- Search by using the dropdown menus available on the Search page.
- Use quotation marks to search for a phrase. For example, to search for the company name Thunder Bird International, use “Thunder Bird International” to return the most relevant results.
The dropdown menus on the Search page allow you to search for contracts by: date of contract signature; host country; resource type; investor company name; and contract type. In addition, you can also search for contracts for which certain issues have been summarized by using the “Annotation category” dropdown menu. This can help you find, for example, contracts for which we have summarized obligations or commitments related to local employment, surface fees for land, environmental protection, or the use of physical security.
5. Using targeted search functions
- + signifies “AND”: Two or more terms or phrases must be in the description. For instance: consult+indigenous will return search results for documents that contain both consult and indigenous.
- | signifies “OR”: Either one or the other of the multiple terms specified must be in the description. For instance: monitoring|consultation will return search results for documents that contain either monitoring or consultation.
- - negates a search term: Documents possessing the term will be excluded from the search. For instance: -consent will exclude documents containing the word consent.
- " wraps a number of terms to signify a phrase for searching. For instance: “local community” will only return documents that contain that entire phrase.
- * at the end of a term signifies a prefix query. For instance: consult* will return search results for consult, consultation, consulting, consultant, etc.
- ( ) signifies precedence: Any phrase or term in () has a higher precedence than other terms or phrase. For instance: ("local community" + "contracts") | regional will produce search results where "local community" and "contracts" have high precedence over "regional".
- ~N after a word signifies edit distance (fuzziness), meaning the number of character changes that need to be made to one or more string to make it the same as another string. For instance: stabilisation~2 will produce search results for both "stabilisation", "stabilization" and other terms that have maximum two characters difference in their spelling from the search term.
- ~N after a phrase signifies slop amount, meaning how far apart terms are allowed to be while still considering the document a match. For instance: "local community"~2 returns search results where “local community” is a phrase, or where 1 or 2 words appear in between “local” and “community.”
6. How do I compare two contracts?
We are currently working to build the comparison functionality of the site. Please check back soon for this feature. In the meantime, when you have identified contracts that you would like to compare, you may find it useful to refer to the plain language annotations of each contract’s key terms, which are available in a scrolling sidebar on each contract’s viewing page, and are also available on each contract’s summary page.
7. Can I download data from the site?
OpenLandContracts.org allows you to download a CSV file containing the details of your search results. This option is available on the Search page of the site.
8. What types of agreements are available on this site?
OpenLandContracts.org provides publicly available investment contracts between host governments and investors for large-scale land, agriculture, and forestry projects. We currently include the following types of agreements:
- Agricultural Development Agreements
- Baux Emphytéotiques
- Baux Fonciers
- Concession Agreements
- Contrats de Concession Agricole
- Contrats de Concession Forestière
- Establishment Conventions
- Forest Management Contracts
- Investment Agreements
- Investment Incentive Contracts
- Land Lease Agreements
- Memoranda of Understanding
- Protocoles d'Accord
- Timber Sale Contracts
- Investors or investor companies are the foreign or local corporate entity that has entered into a land contract with the host government (and/or a sub-entity of the government) and that will be implementing the land deal. As well as corporate entities, an investor can be an individual person, or another country.
- Host governments are the governments of the country in which the investment is being made. Land contracts may be signed by a range of host government entities, although they are frequently signed by national-level ministries or departments.
- Local communities are communities located in or near an investment, while land users are individuals or groups that use or rely on the land underlying the investment. Land users may or may not have formal documentation to the land; a lack of documentation does not necessarily mean that they do not have rights to the land.
- Annotation Template: Commercial Agriculture and Forestry Contracts
- Guidance Note: Annotating Commercial Agriculture and Forestry Contracts
- fiscal terms (such as surface fees or rent, tax incentives, tax holidays, and how company costs are treated)
- work and investment commitments of the company (if any)
- the government’s rights to monitor and audit the company’s operations
- environmental, social, and human rights obligations
- local employment or local content obligations
- governing law of the contract, and process in case of disputes
- the extent to which the contract is within or outside of the country’s legislation
- confidentiality requirements
23. What is an "Open Contracting ID"?
Each contract added to OpenLandContracts.org is assigned a unique "Open Contracting ID" (or OCID for short). These unique identifiers, acting somewhat like the ISBNs given to books, can be "used to join up data on all stages of a contracting process." Because a contracting process may involve multiple contracts, documents and other data, which can be published at different times and in different places, an OCID helps users connect data and understand to which contracting process a particular contract relates. Further information regarding OCIDs can be found on the Open Contracting Data Standard website.
24. What is summarized in the "Stabilization" annotation?
As noted in the Glossary, a "stabilization clause" is a clause within a contract between an investor and a host state that addresses changes in the law of the host state during the life of the project. The purpose of a stabilization clause is to offer investors – and their lenders – some assurance that the investment will not be subject to unpredictable and costly changes in law. However, stabilization clauses may also have negative impacts on the host country by, for example, reducing its ability to maintain flexibility with respect to changing economic and political circumstances.
On OpenLandContracts.org, the "Stabilization" annotation category summarizes any provision that amounts to a "stabilization clause," even where the provision is not explicitly referred to within the contract as a "stabilization clause." Where possible, the "Stabilization" annotation also summarizes clauses that seek to prevent the stabilization of a contract.