Slide background Following is a view from an environmental perspective of what coca and cocaine persecution and illegal production and supply are doing to Colombia. It is also an appeal to coca growers and coca-derivatives users to assume their ecological responsibility and for policy makers to bring to bear scientific environmental and health considerations on their decisions on coca and its derivatives.

Coca is Colombia’s natural birthright. Attempts at forcibly extinguishing it completely from Colombia is upsetting the Andean Amazon Region’s fragile ecological balance and violating the cultural, religious, nutritional and medicinal rights of millions of Colombians. Coca ―organic coca― needs to be restored to its rightful place and the right to health of millions of citizens worldwide who consume cocaine must be humanely respected and seen to if we are to avoid the security and environmental hazards that are currently being brought on society by the means used to deny (and thus illegally provide for) the consumption of coca derivatives.(under construction)

"In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act- George Orwell (unknown) / The greatest patriotism is to tell your country when it is behaving dishonorably, foolishly, viciously."

Julian Barnes, “Flaubert's Parrot”

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Coca as part of Colombia's environmental legacy


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Bernardo Pérez Salazar “Variations on the thoughts of a shaman about nature and human purpose "A shaman speaks his mind before officials who threaten to eradicate illegal coca crops in Colombia. Sustainability has to do with values, which cannot be dealt with as scientific or legalistic “truths”. It is a matter of learning how to manage our needs and aspirations in order to expand the possibilities of human development. […] What to do with nature is something to be contested in the public’s mind. Even in the face of depletion of the goods and services that flow from present stocks of natural assets, technology implicitly supports the belief that it brings safe and sustainable satisfaction of needs and aspirations. Yet a world of unlimited possibilities is a tricky appeal. It may lead us to reduce —not increase— the asset base which future generations will inherit. […]The trap lies in the idea of “optimal substitutability”. It increases the value of the capital stock available for income generation and is considered at present as an optimal path for accumulating assets. Yet it is possible that in the future, people may find other human potentials to be developed, not necessarily based on more abundant and perfected goods. If so, optimal substitution may no longer be an optimal accumulation path for coming geneeations. Technology in the future may allow people to reverse depletion. But it will be at a cost to those generations upon whom today’s values and parameters are being imposed.  MamaCoca [2003]