Communities as Counterparties: Preliminary Review of Concessions and Conflict in Emerging and Frontier Market Concessions

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In emerging or frontier markets (EFMs), a significant portion of land is designated for commercial use via concession agreements. These agreements are the legal framework for economic activity in EFMs across many sectors: oil and gas, mining, agriculture, and the like.

As we have noted previously, 1 property rights in many EFMs are dysfunctional to the point that ownership of land can be granted to an operator without the tens of thousands of people who live or depend on that land knowing about it. Generally tied to their land for many generations, these people have little interest in moving to urban areas and are practically impossible to relocate.

Nor is the presence of people on land designated for concessions unusual: in a parallel analysis we conducted, we found that there were people present in 93- 99% of concession territories, 2 and that their presence was more or less uniform across sectors and countries.

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