In 2017, the Interlaken Group—an informal network co-chaired by RRI and the International Finance Corporation working to expand private sector action to secure community land rights—launched its first initiatives to pilot country-level engagements in Kenya and Cameroon. Traditional advocacy efforts have focused on large multinational corporations—country-level engagements allow the Interlaken Group to engage local suppliers, who have a major impact on land rights in the developing world, and to develop local solutions to tenure conflict.
In Kenya, an Interlaken Group workshop in Nairobi convened stakeholders from the finance, extractive, agribusiness, and renewables sectors, as well as institutional investors and representatives from civil society and government. Divergent views and interests among participants, and in particular the attendance of Cabinet Secretary of Lands Jacob Kaimenyi, created space for a candid exchange of perspectives and demonstrated continued demand for Interlaken Group engagement in Kenya.
In Cameroon, the Groupement Inter-patronal du Cameroun-GICAM (Cameroon’s industry association) held a workshop in Douala entitled “Investing Differently: How Can Investments and Community Land and Natural Resource Rights Cohabit?” The workshop convened the national representatives of several global firms, including Nestlé, Cargill, and Olam, as well as numerous national-level suppliers of commodities such as sugar, rubber, timber, and palm oil. Also present were representatives of civil society, institutional investors, and several government ministries. The workshop allowed for representatives of these various sectors to share experiences with land-based investments and discuss next steps for the group’s involvement in Cameroon.