Illicit drug crop cultivation continues to be a major challenge for security, development and public health in drug producing as well as drug consumer countries. In CELAC, most Andean countries continue to be massively affected by illicit crop cultivation such as coca bush and opium poppy, while Ecuador faces the potential spill-over of illicit cultivation from its neighboring countries. However, the problem is not restricted to the Andes. Countries such as Guatemala, Mexico or Jamaica, among others, are heavily affected by rural drug economies and the cultivation of opium poppy and marihuana, phenomena that are directly linked to organized crime, corruption and endemic violence, threatening both stability and well-being of their societies. AD addresses illicit drug crop cultivation by means of rural development. AD seeks to tackle the root causes such as poverty, food insecurity, lack of access to arable land, lack of access to markets and lack of legal income opportunities.AD is one of the UN three pillars for DSR. AD is included at the EU Drug Strategy 2013-20, as a key element for the EU international cooperation in the field of drug control. The AD activities of C2 are oriented towards the implementation of both the UN Guiding Principles on AD (2013) and the EU Strategy.
In CELAC, the level of knowledge with regard to AD is heterogeneous. While the Andean countries have implemented AD for more than a decade, AD experience in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean is weak to non-existent; and countries in those sub-regions request technical advice from the UE enabling the sharing of best practices to address illicit drug crop cultivation from a development point of view. As already pointed out earlier, the long-standing law enforcement oriented drug policy paradigm in CELAC is currently under review and development-oriented approaches are increasingly attractive for many countries. COPOLAD therefore aims at consolidating the success of the first phase of COPOLAD by enhancing intraregional exchange of best practices and mutual learning in AD.
COPOLAD will work on the following activities:
- Intraregional Dialogue Forums on Alternative Development
- Peer to peer learning activities and capacity building in the field of Alternative Development and value chains
0.1 - Establish the necessary operational bases to ensure the quality and coherence of the work to be performed and the necessary coordination and participation of all partners.
0.2 - Have adequate baseline information to: provide specificity to the contents and the actions planned in each component; meet initial expectations of each partner in relation to its participation in COPOLAD; and facilitate the programme evaluation.
0.3 - Ensure visibility of COPOLAD and its activities and disseminate the contents in the main political and professional forums in the field of drug policies to be held both internationally and in CELAC.
0.4 - Establish the necessary institutional contacts to avoid duplication with already developed initiatives and ensure synergies with ongoing initiatives, both within the EU and CELAC.
3.1 - Deliver a demand-driven capacity building strategy on Alternative Development (AD), build upon the needs identified during C1, facilitating intra-regional exchange of best practices and mutual learning, enlarging its coverage to new interested countries.
3.2 - Enhance the sustainability of AD strategies by fostering direct contact among the different actors involved in this field.