On December 15, 2020, the Inter-American Dialogue hosted the webinar “Rethinking Drug Policy in the Americas.” The panel discussed the report of the Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission, its evaluations of US counternarcotics policy in the Americas and recommendations for its reform.
Under President Juan Manuel Santos, the Colombian government has vastly expanded protected areas, creating new national parks and providing land titles to indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities in the Amazon, Chocó and other important forest regions. However, many challenges remain. National parks and indigenous and Afro-Colombian lands continue to be threatened by illegal occupation, coca cultivation and illegal gold mining.
As Colombia begins the multi-year process of implementing last year’s peace accord, it is vital to balance environmental conservation with the need for sustainable economic development.