Co-chaired by Andy White of the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) and Mark Constantine of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Interlaken Group first came together at the 2013 International Conference sponsored by RRI, Helvetas, Oxfam, and IUCN on Scaling-Up Strategies to Secure Community Land and Resource Rights. They have met regularly since. Participants are committed to a "race to the top" for companies and their investors to support improved land governance and the land rights of rural people. Minutes are prepared for every meeting following Chatham House Rule and are made publicly available. Participants in the Interlaken Group contribute in their individual capacities as leaders and experts, and do not necessarily represent the perspective of their organization.
The Interlaken Group works at two levels. At the global level, participants collaborate to explore tenure related challenges, identify actionable solutions, share experience, and demonstrate leadership. To this end, Interlaken Group participants have collaborated to develop and update guidance for companies and investors to implement commitments such as the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT), among others. At the country level, participants leverage their networks to support dialogues between producer and portfolio companies, local civil society, communities, and developing country governments to jointly identify shared land tenure challenges and collaborate to develop solutions. Interlaken Group initiatives at the global and national levels are unique in that they are multi-stakeholder in nature, jointly developed by and at the direction of civil society and the private sector.
The Interlaken Group receives steering support from its steering committee, which consists of Andy White (RRI); Chloe Christman (Oxfam); Mark Constantine (IFC); Natasha Schwarzbach (PepsiCo); Robin Barr (Earthworm Foundation); and Roger Steinhardt (Ikea).
The Interlaken Group’s vision and commitment to work with all parties—including companies, governments, investors, international development institutions, Indigenous Peoples, communities, and civil society—to scale-up and implement global efforts to secure collective land rights on the ground
While Interlaken Group members participate as individuals and do not necessarily represent the official position with whom they are affiliated, leaders from the following organizations have participated in the Interlaken Group process:
Companies and consultants
Investors and bilateral and multilateral development agencies