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

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 promoted sustainable land use systems, with the focus on the agricultural sector (e.g. cattle farming). It is oriented on farmers in areas which had been identified as priority areas for carbon storage and landscape restoration and which were also affected or threatened by armed conflicts. The project contributed to reducing CO2, preserving forests, restoring degraded landscapes and improving the quality of life. In this way, it advanced the implementation of the national REDD+ strategy and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), while at the same time strengthened peacekeeping activities. The systems were tailored to local conditions. The project developed strategies for scaling, which promoted the most promising approaches.

Project data

IKI funding
5,199,957.68 €
11/2018 till 10/2023
Implementing organisation
International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
Political Partner
  • Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MADS) - Colombia
Implementing Partner
  • Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) e.V.
  • Research Center for Sustainable Agricultural Production Systems (CIPAV) - Colombia

State of implementation/results

  • Project completed.
  • The project focused on the departments of Caquetá and Cesar as the two regional nodes for piloting Sustainable Land Use Systems (SLUS).
  • CIAT led the secretariat of the Multistakeholder Platform on the Zero Deforestation Value Chain Agreement for the dairy and beef sectors in Colombia.
  • The SLUS project team presented the results in the webinar “Sistemas Silvopastoriles en Colombia” organized by the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock, the US Department of Agriculture and the Global Network on Silvopastoral Systems.
  • Beneficiaries of the SLUS project participated in the most important cocoa fair in Colombia, "Chocoshow," where they told their life stories, exchanged experiences and learned more about the cocoa market.
  • Together with Fedecacao and producers, the SLUS Project installed biofactories in Belén de los Andaquíes, Caquetá, and La Paz, Cesar, to produce organic fertilizers (…).
  • The SLUS Project team developed a cocoa sector strategy each for Cesar and Caquetá, with a focus on the adoption of sustainable practices.
  • Seven dairy companies signed the zero-deforestation dairy value chain agreement.
  • CIPAV, along with the Caquetá regional government, the Secretary of Agriculture and the Department Cattle Ranchers Committee established the dairy and beef value chain committee, which is the official regional stakeholder body recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture for matters related to this productive activity.
  • The representative of the commercial ally visited the territories to learn about the progress in pilot farm implementation and identify possible allies to scale the zero-deforestation business model, such as suppliers, development and extension entities, government, academia and research institutes. The result is an agreement to market a batch of certified organic cocoa from producer organizations in the northern municipalities of Cesar.
  • The cocoa value chain committees were formalized together with stakeholders of the dialogue platform. Cocoa producer beneficiaries of the SLUS project from Caquetá and Cesar took part in the training on integrated cocoa management at the experimental farm "Villa Mónica" which the National Federation of Cocoa Growers (Fedecacao) organizes. Fedecacao has provided technical support during the execution of the SLUS Project.
  • CIPAV signed agreements that include reducing deforestation in regions of the beef and dairy supply chains in Colombia and is contributing to the development of the NAMA for cattle production by assisting in building the baseline and improving the scenarios with a special focus on the SLUS project regions.
  • With the support of the SLUS project, the platform for the zero-deforestation dairy value chain generated the guidelines to include territorial entities as supporting members.
  • The project supported the creation of the diploma course in “Ganaderia Sostenible para los Valles Interandinos” taught at Caldas University.
  • Results were presented at the (a) Seminar: Ganadería Sostenible: Vinculo entre el Secuestro de Carbono y la Biodiversidad. Cartagena in March 2023; (b) Beef and Sheep Conference held in Asunción, Paraguay, in June 2023; and (c) webinar co-hosted by CIAT and IKI "Toward zero-deforestation supply chains in conflict-affected settings” on 16 August 2023.
  • Members of the project team disseminated results at Tropentag 2023 at the session “Sustainable land use, food systems, and commodity chains in regions of climate vulnerability, deforestation, and conflict” in September 2023.

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