The Property Law Behind Forest Investments in Latin America
In recent years, agricultural and forested areas have been increasingly viewed by society as targets for ethical and ecological investments. German citizens are continually making ever greater amounts of money available to (foreign) forest projects, done with the hope of realizing a maximum return in the form of a sustainable investment.
With their rich stocks of tropical woods, parts of Latin America have become the focus of multiple investment projects. Companies promise to undertake the development and management of sustainable forest areas and to engage in international sales and the recycling of the wood. Denise Wiedemann examines, among other things, how forest investment schemes can offer property rights in respect of trees that have not yet been cut down.
Objects that are firmly connected to the land can in principle only be transferred together with the land as accomplished by entry in the real estate register. In order to facilitate a transfer of ownership in goods that are still firmly rooted in the land, some Latin American legal systems adopted from French law as early as the early 20th century the theory of anticipated movable goods: anticipated movable goods, e.g. trees that are scheduled for clearing, can, like movable goods, often be transferred by simple agreement.