We are delighted to report the success of our workshop “Non-timber forest products (NTFPs): prosperity through our wealth of biodiversity”, which took place on the 12th of September 2019 with the participation of more than 180 people in city of Villavicencio, located in the Colombian Eastern Plains. The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) successfully led the event with the esteemed support from the Embassy of Norway, the government of the Departamento of Meta, the Colombian Agency of Agricultural Research (AGROSAVIA for its acronym in Spanish) and the University of the Llanos.
Medicinal plants, resins, bamboo, fruits, seeds, plant fibres, mushrooms and palms are just an example of all which are included under the classification of NTFPs. A forest ecosystem is required for these products to thrive, which means from an economic and environmental point of view, they are considered as a “win-win” for forest conservation and for boosting the local economy.
The workshop highlighted the scope of NTFPs to positively impact the social, environmental and economic development of the Departamento of Meta and the entire Colombian Eastern Plains by bringing to light a different initiative of economic production, committed to reducing illegal deforestation. The workshop was opened by Dr. Jairo Rocha, the Secretary of Environment for the Departamento of Meta, and David Ardila, our GGGI regional associate in Meta, who emphasized that the region has great potential to build on these initiatives which couple sustainability with economic development.
The Ministry of Environment and the National Planning Department spoke to the attendees about the regulatory framework for the use of NTFPs, the regulations associated with the use of forest by-products, and of how a Bioeconomy fits into the framework of the Green Growth Policy and the National Development Plan 2018-2022 for Colombia.
Representatives from the cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical industry such as Fundación Nutresa, Ecoflora, the National Association of Entrepreneurs in Colombia (ANDI for its acronym in Spanish), Colorganics as well as international and national experts joined the workshop to encourage local producers by sharing their success stories. The workshop was offered as a platform to link local producers to a market that is mindful and open in recognizing the best production practices that support deforestation reduction.
GGGI Country Representative