The Plurinational State of Bolivia is the third-largest coca bush grower in the world. The Plurinational State of Bolivia is the third-largest coca bush grower in the world. In 2010, the area under coca bush cultivation was estimated at 31,000 hectares, concentrated mainly in the Yungas and Chapare areas. Currently, the country's overall cultivation remains well below the levels reached in the early and mid-1990s, though has increased compared to the levels in the late 1990s.

The cultivation of coca bush in Bolivia decreased by around 7 per cent, according to the 2012 national coca monitoring survey presented today by UNODC and the Bolivian Government. In 2012, the area under cultivation stood at around 25,300 hectares (ha), down from the previous year's figure of some 27,200 ha. This decline confirms the downward trend noted in 2011, when cultivation fell by 12 per cent from 2010.

UNODC and the Bolivian Government collaborate in alternative development programmes, focusing income generation and environmental protection activities that tackle poverty. Since the early 1980s, UNODC has been supporting grass-roots alternative development projects to help farmers develop licit farming alternatives to coca bush cultivation in the Cochabamba Tropics and the Yungas of La Paz.



Sustainable and integrated management of natural resources in the tropics of Cochabamba and the Yungas of La Paz

The project supports the National Plan for Alternative Development in the context of the Bolivian Integrated Strategy to Counter Drug Trafficking. Alternative development activities carried out within this framework aim at consolidating the sustainable use and conservation of natural resources in the Cochabamba tropics and the Yungas of La Paz.

The project generates income and employment through rational and sustainable forest utilization and agroforestry management practices with the active participation of farmers and local entities.

The main project work consists of forest development, the conservation of soil, rivers and watersheds, and institutional strengthening. The project team supports local organizations and strengthens the capacities of entities in charge of forest supervision and the maintenance of protected areas. Approximately 4,500 families and 50 local organizations benefit from project activities through increased income, employment and availability of agricultural and forest resources.




Vocational training and promotion of micro-enterprise in the Yungas of La Paz

The project's objective is to contribute to reducing illicit coca bush cultivation and cocaine trafficking by providing licit economic alternatives, thus reducing poverty and social marginalization. It emphasizes the prevention and further expansion of illicit coca bush cultivation and the need to improve the living conditions of people in areas under such cultivation. Related activities aim at supporting the objectives of the Bolivian Strategy for the Fight against Drug Trafficking and contribute to achieving the objectives of the National Alternative Development Plan.

The project generates employment opportunities for young people living in traditional coca bush cultivation zones in the Yungas of La Paz, providing vocational training in a wide range of areas defined by market demand and regional development needs, such as tourism, agriculture and the food industry. Approximately 7,500 young men and women will be qualified to work in the productive and service sectors. Taking into account that the micro-enterprise sector is one of the major sources of employment in the country, the project supports at least 90 micro-enterprises aimed at improving productive processes, administration, production costs, access to credit and market links.