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Implementing sustainable land use systems to contribute to forest conservation, climate protection (REDD+) and the peace-building process in Colombia

As of: January 2021

Forests are important for biodiversity and they also have a major role to play as carbon reservoirs. However, ecosystems are often threatened by the expansion of land use. The project therefore promotes sustainable land use systems, with the focus on the agricultural sector (e.g. cattle farming). It is oriented on farmers in areas which have been identified as priority areas for carbon storage and landscape restoration and which are also affected or threatened by armed conflicts. The project contributes to reducing CO2, preserving forests, restoring degraded landscapes and improving the quality of life. In this way, it advances the implementation of the national REDD+ strategy and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), while at the same time strengthening peacekeeping activities. The systems are tailored to local conditions. The next step will be to develop strategies for scaling, which will promote the most promising approaches.

State of implementation/results

  • The Ministries MADS and MADR took part in the project’s kick-off meeting.
  • The departments of Caquetá and Cesar were prioritized by the project (along with MADS, MADR and ART) as the two regional nodes for piloting SLUS. Similarly, restoration priorities are to be identified in coordination with these institutions.
  • It is expected that the project will inform not only Colombia´s climate policy processes, but also global climate dialogues. For instance, the project is informing the government’s efforts and multi-stakeholder dialogue platforms to promote zero-deforestation in agricultural value chains. Specifically, a baseline study on the cocoa sector, developed with the support of the project, is informing the design of the strategy to implement the recently launched Cocoa, Forest, and Peace Initiative.
  • The German Thünen Institute carried out a training program for modeling SLUS. This aims to prepare and enhance the institutional capacity for assessing the economic performance of SLUS related to cattle ranching piloted in the project’s priority regions.
  • The project staff is participating in the Colombian Roundtable for Sustainable Cattle Ranching in order to contribute to the NAMA for sustainable bovine livestock that is being designed by the Colombian government. The project acts as the Secretary for the zero-deforestation value chain agreement for the dairy sector per the request of the Colombian government. Furthermore, the project is involved in the agreements for zero deforestation in the cacao, dairy and meat value chains.
  • As agreed with the “Universidad de la Amazonia, CIPAV is offering a postgraduate course on sustainable cattle ranching in the Amazon region involving 50 students. CIPAV and CIAT researchers funded by the SLUS project cover various sections, including those on value chain analysis and sustainable business models.
  • SLUS project annual meeting and regional launching: Discussions centered on the progress, next steps and workplans. The regional launch of the project in Cesar and Caqueta followed the meeting.

Project data


Implementing organisation:
International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

Political partner(s):
  • Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MADS) - Colombia

Implementing partner(s):
  • Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) e.V.
  • Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) e.V.
  • Research Center for Sustainable Agricultural Production Systems (CIPAV) - Colombia

BMU grant:
5.199.957,75 €

11/2018  till  10/2022

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