The forum for Dialogue on Alternative Development, within the framework of the COPOLAD programme on EU-CELAC drug policy, is taking place in Bogotá.
Today in Bogotá, Colombia, the first COPOLAD Forum for Intra-Regional Dialogue on Alternative Development got started, bringing together 65 representatives of the sector from various countries in Latin America and, for the first time, the Caribbean.
This first forum has the principal aim of promoting dialogue and addressing strategies between the stakeholders in alternative development in countries affected by the cultivation of crops intended for illegal drug production.
The forum was attended by representatives of zones that produce coca leaf and poppies to discuss the different strategies for rural development.
The forum was also attended by representatives of the Bahamas, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica, accompanied by high-level representatives and producers from Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
The activity was organised by the COPOLAD programme in collaboration with Germany’s Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Government of Colombia, and Peru’s National Commission for Development and Life Without Drugs (DEVIDA).
Alternative Development: a concept being extended to new contexts
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), alternative development is a process aimed at reducing and eliminating the cultivation of plants that contain narcotics and psychotropic substances through the adoption of rural development measures.
The purpose of this forum is to help the participants gain an overview of recent trends and the way forward according to the conclusions derived from the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) held this year in New York. These include the role of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and their monitoring and indicators, as well as the possibilities for broader socio-economic development in the zones affected by the illegal drug economy.
The Cooperation Programme between Latin America and the Caribbean and the European Union on drug policy (COPOLAD) is funded by the European Commission and managed by the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP).