First Webinar on “Alternative Development and the Environment” in COPOLAD III


Published on 19/03/22

First Webinar on “Alternative Development and the Environment” in COPOLAD III

The event was organized by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). GIZ is the implementing partner for the Sub-Component on “Alternative Development” in this third phase of COPOLAD. More than 50 participants from Latin American, Caribbean, and European countries joined this first event to discuss the role of environmental concerns in the context of Alternative Development.

At the core of the event were three presentations that explored different aspects of environmental concerns in drug crop cultivation areas. Dr. Ricardo Soberón, Executive President of the National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs (DEVIDA), Peru, presented the new Social Citizen Pact. This is a commitment between the State and Civil Society, mainly with indigenous peoples, and aims to sustainably reduce the cultivation of illicit coca crops and contribute to integral and sustainable development. He also stressed the importance of actively involving indigenous communities, thereby valuing their knowledge of environmental conservation in protected areas. The second presenter Daniel Brombacher (GIZ), Head of Project of the Global Partnership on Drug Policies and Development (GPDPD) highlighted the connection between illicit drug crop cultivation and deforestation in his input on “illicit drug economies, alternative development and the environment”. Ana María Rueda Rodríguez, Senior Researcher at the Think Tank Fundación Ideas Para la Paz, explored the challenges of coca production and Alternative Development in protected areas in Colombia.

Enviroment and illicit drug econonmy

Interesting and lively discussions emerged about the interfaces between environmental problems and the illicit drug economy, a topic which receives growing attention, also in the international drug policy debate. GIZ is looking forward to continuing this exchange under COPOLAD III during the next webinar of the series which will take place in May. The formation of a Working Group on Alternative Development was also announced during the event. This will allow for continued and more in-depth discussions as well as knowledge exchange on relevant topics around Alternative Development.

Welcoming remarks were given by Dr. Merle Kreibaum, Senior Policy Advisor from BMZ, Javier Sagredo, Director of COPOLAD III from FIIAPP and Giovanni Tartaglia Polcini, Legal Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Advisor at IILA. The event started with a general overview about the planned activities on Alternative Development for this year and gave participants the possibility to get to know each other. Foto : © GIZ / Lisa Feldmann.