Alternative Development

Alternative Development is a process designed to reduce and eliminate the cultivation of plants that contain narcotics, such as psychoactive drugs, through the adoption of rural development programmes that have been specifically designed for this purpose. This approach is carried out in the context of a sustainable national economic growth plan and is complemented by efforts to achieve the sustainable development of countries that take action against drug production. This takes into account the special socio-cultural characteristics of communities and target populations, and is part of a permanent global solution to address the problems created by the production and consumption of illicit drugs.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime - UNODC - supports the Colombian government in the implementation of public policies designed to reduce and eliminate illicit crops. These policies are based on international conventions that Colombia has signed up to and lead to relevant national plans that outline the actions required to tackle the problem of illicit drugs. As part of this support, UNODC signed an agreement with the Special Administrative Unit for Territorial Consolidation -UACT-, which forms part of the National Department for Social Prosperity -DPS- (for more information, visit

Through this agreement, UNODC has a responsibility to provide support for the implementation and monitoring of an integrated and sustainable strategy designed to reduce illicit crops and promote alternative development in Colombia in order to achieve territorial consolidation.

Target Population

Families, communities and organizations that have been linked with illicit crops. They participate in this programme in the areas of promoting a culture of legality and improving their quality of life.