Sustainable alternative development
Southeast Asia has experienced a doubling of opium poppy cultivation from 2006. Myanmar is second only to Afghanistan in opium poppy cultivation with approximately 20% of the total global area under cultivation, producing an estimated 690 tons of opium.
In many of the areas where opium poppy cultivation persists, most farmers lack other income opportunities. In response, UNODC has been the driving force in supporting alternative development (AD) projects in Myanmar and Lao PDR over the past 10 years.
UNODC focuses on assisting Member States to develop and implement sustainable AD policies and programmes in poppy growing areas, and works with the Governments of Thailand, Myanmar and Lao PDR, and other related organizations such as the Thai Royal Project Foundation, to:
- Promote alternative development policies and good practices on a regional and national level; and
- Strengthen South-South cooperation and partnerships.