Q& A with Governor Álvaro Pacheco Álvarez of Caqueta shares how the jurisdictional approach is in action in Colombia
Álvaro Pacheco Álvarez is the Governor of Caqueta, Colombia, 2019 Chair of the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force, and an active participant in TFA dialogues in Colombia.
Caqueta is Chair of the Governors’ Climate and Forests (GCF) Task Force and will be hosting the network’s Annual Meeting in Florencia from May 2-3. The following week you will travel to Bogota to participate in the TFA2020 Annual Assembly from May 6-8. What do networks like the GCF Task Force and TFA2020 mean for Caqueta?
Networks such as the GCF Task Force and TFA2020 have a significant role to play in amplifying the dialogue between governments and the private sector. For Caqueta these networks can play a valuable role in promoting alignment with private sector partners, such as those from the Consumer Goods Forum. Through the dialogues such as the events in May we hope to promote sustainable investment, improve market access for Caquetá’s producers, and secure jurisdictional sourcing agreements. I also see a role for these networks to:
- Promote exchanges and technical cooperation between regions to identify and scale models of success
- Facilitate the flow of resources to jurisdictional programs and local initiatives.
- Promote jurisdictional programs as a scalable solution in the fight against deforestation and climate change
- Develop the capacity of political leaders to cultivate a critical mass of young politicians in the tropics that will champion the sustainable development, climate change and forest agenda locally, regionally, and internationally.
Colombia’s recently signed peace agreement emphasized the need to transform production systems in rural areas. How can you achieve this transformation in Caquetá while preserving your forests as part of the peace process?
Caqueta has 10 principal strategies to support the transition to sustainable productive systems:
- Establishing a long-term model of agro-environmental development where economic activity is generated from sustainably harvested wood products, crops and the region’s biodiversity
- Converting traditional pastures to sustainable silvo-pastoral systems with zero ecological footprint
- Recovering the productive capacity of degraded ecosystems in order to restore key ecosystem services with the goal of ensuring a functional and productive eco-agricultural landscape,
- Promoting biotechnology and agribusiness development,
- Incorporating the forest to the economic and environmental accounts of rural producers
- Promoting private capital investments in priority areas for sustainable rural development
- Developing the capacity and human capital of rural producer support development,
- Strengthening the governance capacity of communities
- Enhancing citizen outreach and training
- Developing green business models, including for forest restoration
All of these activities must be developed and implemented in support of the ongoing peace process, and land titling is a key aspect of each of these strategies. These activities ultimately will contribute to the consolidation of policies that will establish a new development model for Caqueta.
Caquetá recently launched a process to develop an investment plan to support its low emission development strategy. What does the development of this plan mean for sustainable production in Caquetá?
The investment plan we are developing in Caqueta is an effort to bring together and scale the ongoing initiatives that are being implemented by the departmental government and its partners. Through this process we are seeking to stimulate the transformative actions needed to achieve a new low-emission development model for Caqueta. One of the primary goals is to convert traditional livestock and agricultural systems to sustainable agroforestry systems by training producers in best practices in areas such as crop harvesting and post-harvest management. This is complemented by efforts to strengthen value chains associated with forestry and agroforestry products. This process is essential to guarantee a good standard of living for rural households while advancing production systems that are compatible with forests and biodiversity. Without this, we cannot talk about a low emission development in Caqueta.
We are also embarking on an update to out Territorial Plan, which is a key government planning instrument. We are elaborating the plan with the participation of key local stakeholders and focusing on climate change adaption, risk analysis, and positive social and environmental outcomes as we consider how our department will develop in the future.
For representatives of the private sector that read this article: What opportunities are there for public-private collaboration in Caquetá to increase production and reduce deforestation? What kind of investments are necessary?
In Caquetá everything is to be done. We have an opportunity to focus on transformational investments such as adding value to products to develop and support a growing rural economy. Developing a thriving and environmentally-friendly agribusiness is important for Caqueta to stimulate sustainable production in priority areas and ensure that income and profits remain in the region. In rural areas there is an opportunity for biotechnology investments to develop products based on local biodiversity.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the Tropical Forest Alliance.