The transition from the repressive alternative development initiatives conditioned on forced eradication of coca to a model grounded in the principles of inclusive citizenship and sustainable development has been a revolutionary process in Bolivia.

For the past 20 years, AIN’s Kathryn Ledebur has been studying the impact of coca cultivation and development efforts aimed at limiting coca cultivation in Bolivia. She has witnessed the change from the repressive and ineffectual alternative development initiatives conditioned on forced eradication to a model grounded in the principles of inclusive citizenship and sustainable development.

This past April, Ledebur participated in the Illicit Economies & Development Colloquium held in London, where she discussed the benefits of the Bolivian model for crop regulation and sustainable development.

Ledebur highlights the following points in a video published by IED :

  • Illicit crop cultivation is about poverty and people needing to feed their families.
  • Famers can diversify their sources of income once their basic needs are met and when they aren't under the threat of military intervention or losing their source of livelihood.
  • Famers need to be at the center of these policies and engaged and treated as citizens in a productive role with the state and international institutions.