Germany and Colombia can look back on more than 50 years of cooperation. Around 150 staff, including seconded and local employees and integrated experts, are currently working for GIZ in Colombia.
Colombia is Latin America’s third largest economy. Classed as an emerging economy, Colombia began membership talks with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2013. Since 2010, many reform processes, with a new focus on social equality, have been introduced under President Juan Manuel Santos, and more conducive conditions have been established to enable Colombia to address its social and economic challenges more effectively. The conclusion of the peace agreement with the guerrilla movement FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) in November 2016 and its implementation in support of development in Colombia’s conflict-affected regions set the course for the country’s future.
In many respects, Colombia has made positive development progress. The security situation has improved, foreign investment is strengthening the economy, and tourism is increasing, especially in areas where the security situation has stabilised. Inflation and unemployment are falling, while gross domestic product (GDP) is on an upward trend.
Nevertheless, Colombia is a country of contrasts. Extreme inequality between urban and rural areas persists. As a result of the armed conflict between the various guerrilla movements, crime syndicates and government security forces, around eight million people have been displaced. Furthermore, large areas of the country are affected by climate change.
Colombia plays a major role in global action to protect the climate and the environment. It is an important partner in the context of Agenda 2030 and the United Nations climate process, not least because it ranks third internationally in terms of its rich biodiversity. Protected areas cover around 15 per cent of its territory.
GIZ’s projects and programmes in Colombia on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) focus mainly on the following priority areas:
- Peacebuilding/crisis prevention: rule of law, transitional justice, peacebuilding and the prevention of violence
- Environmental policy and conservation: sustainable management of natural resources, climate change mitigation and adaptation, prevention of natural disasters
- Sustainable economic development: development of the rural economy, “green” products and business models.
On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), GIZ implements various projects in Colombia with funding from the International Climate Initiative (IKI). Since October 2016, GIZ has also been supporting the Colombian Government’s peace initiatives on behalf of the European Union, which contributes financially to the BMZ-funded Programme to Support Peacebuilding in Colombia (ProPaz).
Projects and Programmes
Reconstruction and peace
Environment and climate change