Civil Society Letter Concerning Harvard University Land and Natural Resources Investments
In a letter addressed to Harvard University President Drew Faust, 39 civil society organization leaders express concern about Harvard's large-scale investments in farmland, plantation forests, and other natural resources across the developing world.
Harvard University’s $32 billion endowment is managed by Harvard Management Company, which has come under criticism for unsustainable management of investments made through wholly-owned, opaque shell companies. Earlier this year, a manager at a Harvard-owned Romanian timber company was arrested for accepting over $1 million in bribes to acquire timberland. Harvard-owned companies have been accused of unsustainable plantation forestry in Brazil, Chile, and Argentina, facing lawsuits for destroying native forest and community protests from local farmers’ associations.