Katharina Löhr, Bujar Aruqaj, Daniel Baumert, Michelle Bonatti, Michael Brüntrup, Christian Bunn, Augusto Castro-Nunez, Giovanna Chavez-Miguel, Martha Lilia Del Rio, Samyra Hachmann, Héctor Camilo Morales Muñoz, Franziska Ollendorf, Tatiana Rodriguez, Bettina Rudloff, Johannes Schorling, Arne Schuffenhauer, Ingrid Schulte, Stefan Sieber, Sophia Tadesse, Christian Ulrichs, Claudia Vogel and Michael Weinhardt · 2021

Social Cohesion as the Missing Link between Natural Resource Management and Peacebuilding: Lessons from Cocoa Production in Côte d’Ivoire and Colombia

Social cohesion plays a key role in processes of peacebuilding and sustainable development. Fostering social cohesion might present a potential to enhance the connection of natural resource management and peacebuilding and better functioning of sustainable land use systems. This contribution explores the nexus between social cohesion, natural resource management, and peacebuilding. We do so by (1) reviewing literature on the three concepts and (2) studying four different key action areas in the context of sustainable cocoa production for their potential to enhance social cohesion, namely (a) agroforestry; (b) cooperatives; (c) certification schemes; and (d) trade policies. Research is based on experience from cocoa production in two post-conflict countries, Côte d’Ivoire and Colombia. Our findings show that by fostering environmentally sustainable agricultural practices, these key action areas have a clear potential to foster social cohesion among cocoa producers and thus provide a valuable contribution to post-conflict peacebuilding in both countries. However, the actual effects strongly depend on a multitude of local factors which need to be carefully taken into consideration. Further, the focus in implementation of some of these approaches tends to be on increasing agricultural productivity and not directly on fostering cocoa farmers’ wellbeing and societal relations, and hence a shift toward social objectives is needed in order to strengthen these approaches as a part of overall peacebuilding strategies.

Contributors from our Network

Michael Brüntrup

Michael Brüntrup
German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

Michael Brüntrup is an agricultural engineer and holds a PhD in agricultural economics. After some year in academics and as a freelance consultant, he works at the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) since 2003. His interests cover topics related to agriculture and rural development, trade policy and food security with a geographical focus on Subsahara Africa. He has worked on several agricultural value chains including cotton, wood, sugar and biofuels, on agricultural and microfinance, large scale land acquisitions and large scale agro-industries and their relations with smallholder farmers and rural areas. More recently, he focuses on integrated food security and resilience against crises in rural areas, particularly on drought policies and strategies.

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Bettina Rudloff

Bettina Rudloff
German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)

Bettina Rudloff is an agricultural engineer and holds a PhD in agricultural economics. She started her research work on trade, agriculture and development at the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA), Maastricht, the Netherlands. During that time, she led mid-term vocational training programmes of the EU Commission for developing countries‘ WTO negotiators, and consulted agricultural officials of Mediterranean partner countries and EU officials on trade, agriculture and fisheries. After a subsequent Assistant Professorship at the Institute for Food and Ressource Economis/University of Bonn, she became Senior Associate at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in 2008. Here she works on EU trade and investment rules at all levels of regulatory regimes, i.e. multi-, and bilateral agreements, supplementing initiatives such as voluntary partnership agreements and analysing the scope for tariff and regulatory rules to support sustainability. More recently, she has been exploring the impacts of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) along the whole value chain on developing countries and has analyzed coherent approaches to support food systems resilience. She addresses different agricultural value chains, most recently soy, palm oil, and cocoa.

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