UNODC and alternative development

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At its twentieth special session in 1998, devoted to the world drug problem, the General Assembly defined alternative development as:

A process to prevent and eliminate the illicit cultivation of plants containing narcotics and psychotropic substances through specifically designed rural development measures in the context of sustained national growth and sustainable development efforts in countries taking action against drugs, recognizing the particular socio-economic characteristics of the target communities and groups, within the framework of a comprehensive and permanent solution to the problem of illicit drugs.

Alternative development means giving farmers an economically viable,  legal alternative  to growing coca bush, opium poppy or  cannabis plant. UNODC works to reduce the cultivation of illicit crops through a variety of development-oriented poverty reduction and rural development strategies, including agricultural-based initiatives, that lie at the heart of much of UNODC's operational activity at the national, regional, subregional and international levels. UNODC implements multisectoral rural development projects in Latin America, South-East Asia and the southern part of Central Asia. Furthermore, UNODC helps countries link their drug control approaches to development policies and strategies.

Currently, UNODC implements alternative development projects in six countries

Afghanistan: General facts Projects

Bolivia (Plurinational State of): General facts Projects

Colombia: General facts Projects

Lao People's Democratic Republic: General facts Projects

Myanmar: General facts Projects

Peru: General facts | Projects

Introductory video to UNODC alternative development