Mexico City, September 7, 2017. TheCooperation Programme between Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union on Drugs Policies (COPOLAD)has held in Mexico City the third and last "Peer to peer" horizontal learning workshop in value chains and alternative development in collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH of Germany and the Government of the Republic of Mexico, which have been hosts and collaborators of this event through theSecretary of External Relations (SRE), the Attorney General's Office (PGR) and the Comisión Nacional contra las Adicciones (CONADIC).
With this last meeting, attended by 35 participants, the series that started in Quito (Ecuador) last May and continued in September in Asunción (Paraguay) was completed. In total, more than 54 people were trained throughout the three workshops.
Representatives and technicians from institutions and members of civil society, as well as associations of producers and farmers, have exchanged respectively good practices and guidelines, both in situ and through virtual training through the COPOLAD website, exploring key aspects to consider when dealing with projects with the Alternative Development (AD) perspective.
Thus, the collegial assistance provided and the facilitation of meeting points, have enabled participants from the seven countries (Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Guatemala, Mexico and Paraguay) who are working on this subject within the COPOLAD framework, to have a network of professional contacts and to both design their policies in this field and redefine the projects that are already being developed.
Success stories such as the substitution of these crops by others from the agricultural or the fish farming sector were presented by the Andean countries to the representatives of countries that are now beginning to face this challenge. Cooperation between countries and the use of appropriate methodologies is key in the search for alternatives so that affected communities can find new resources and livelihoods.
The promotion of Value chains in the field of Alternative Development
Following these workshops, the practical tools of so-called value chains have been strengthened through the learning of concrete examples within the AD framework. As a fundamental part of the training, moderation skills for group events and training of trainers were promoted.
All phases have been characterised by a practical and participatory approach, and in them, participants have been able to design support tools to use in real situations of their daily work and continue to develop their improvement strategies.