Reducing deforestation in Colombia while building peace and pursuing business as usual extractivism?

A forest with cut down trees. Photo: Unsplash.
Photo: Unsplash/ Dan Smedley Follow Message

Colombia is emerging from an internal conflict that lasted more than 50 years. In this process rural land-use is being transformed, generating new conflicts over land use and control with detrimental effects on Colombia's forests. In this article published in the Journal of Political Ecology, Torsten Krause analyze the ways in which peace-building and post-conflict transition have led to increased land conflicts and deforestation in Colombia.

Torsten Krause argue that Colombia's current REDD+ efforts mainly serve to attract international funding and legitimize the status quo since they remain disconnected from the structural processes that directly and indirectly drive deforestation. As such, REDD+ in Colombia contributes to a contradictory neoliberal approach to development, which promises to safeguard the environment, while supporting large-scale extractive industries, mining, cattle ranching and intensive agriculture, resulting in the increase in deforestation and forest degradation.

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