Today, AIN presented a video message at the UN Commission on Narcotics Drugs (CND) Intersessional Civil Society Meeting: Alternative development; regional, interregional and international cooperation on development-oriented balanced drug control policy; addressing socio-economic issues.
Watch the video here:
Here is the full transcript of the video message:
Hello, I am Kathryn Ledebur of the Andean Information Network. I am here to talk about our efforts to implement Outcome Number 7 of the UNGASS Outcome Document.
The Andean Information Network, based in Cochabamba, Bolivia, has worked for two decades carrying out research in coca growing populations, with farmers and their organizations, and working closely with the Bolivian government, the international community, organizations such as the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to look at the impact of forced eradication, alternative development conditioned on forced eradication and the implementation of viable new alternatives in Bolivia.
This alternative was first implemented in the Chapare coca growing region of Bolivia at the height of the violent conflict around forced eradication. This PRAEDAC program funded by the European Union had a focus and indicators of success based not on coca reduction but on the basic welfare of the population, on poverty indicators, basic services, education, social welfare norms, and a specific focus on working directly with the coca growers unions as citizens and key actors in this process.
This unique focus, that began with very little funding, has led in different policy implementation levels to significant results. In a viable dynamic program that is an active synergy between coca farmers, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the European Union, NGOs and the Bolivian government.
We’ve seen with this new focus significant support in education, basic sanitation, welfare an end to violent conflict around forced eradication. And we see improved incomes, land titling for women, and coca titling of the cato, the small amount of coca permitted for subsistence.
There has been a 30% reduction in extreme poverty and a dynamic technological innovation of a multilayered system that provides the tools for precise monitoring used by the coca growing community, the international community, the United Nations Drugs and Crime office, and the European Union. This had allowed and documented the 36% reduction in the coca crop, leading to an end of the conflict, and a sustainable initiative that has improved the lives of farmers.