Cocoa, Forests and Peace – The Role of Cocoa in Conservation and Peace Building in Colombia
Andrés Charry, Fabio Castro, Augusto Castro-Nunez
International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Colombia
Since the beginning of the peace negotiations between the Colombian government and FARC, the country has been experiencing changes in multiple dimensions, bringing along new environmental, social and political challenges. Deforestation patterns have shown different trends across the country, with some areas decreasing total forest loss while others showing rapid increases in deforestation. Similarly, conflict, with its many actors and expressions has changed both geographically and in intensity. Experts believe that both the causes and effects of conflict and deforestation are highly interrelated, with common factors such as land tenure and rights, economic opportunities, state presence, rule of law, among others. Aware of the commonalities, government officials and stakeholders have promoted sustainable agricultural value chains as approaches to tackle both phenomena simultaneously, assuming that increasing incomes, market access, productivity and welfare may help in reconstructing the social tissue and, with the right mechanisms, reducing pressure on forests. In that sense, the cocoa value chain has been proposed as one of the main alternatives by the international cooperation, private investors and the public sector.
Keywords: Deforestation-free value chains, environmental peacebuilding, spatial correlation, sustainable agriculture
Contact Address: Andrés Charry, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Km 17 recta Cali - Palmira, Cali, Colombia, e-mail: a.charrycgiar.org