The voices of affected communities involved in the cultivation of coca leaf, opium poppy and cannabis plants are lacking in the global debate on drug policy reform in general and were at risk of being excluded from the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) 2016 on The World Drug Problem. In January 2016 the Transnational Institute (TNI) gathered a group of approximately 60 farmers and farmers’ representatives in the Netherlands for the Global Forum of Producers of Prohibited Plants (GFPPP), facilitating a discussion of their views on and experiences with illicit crop control policies.
For two full days all participants were asked to contribute to discussion about the four thematic areas listed below, which had been defined previously by the Steering Committee:
• Crop control policies and forced eradication;
• Traditional, medicinal and modern uses of controlled plants;
• Sustainable rural development;
• Drugs and conflict.
The participants were divided into four working groups. All groups were expected to discuss the themes mentioned above. Every group had support from a translator (English/Spanish and vice versa), two moderators and two minute takers. The group division took into account a balance in terms of region or country of origin, language, gender and plant grown.
The outcome of the deliberations at the GFPPP, titled the “Heemskerk Declaration”, was presented to the UN through the Civil Society Task Force, and by some representatives of the Forum present at the UNGASS in New York, between the 19th and 21st of April 2016.
This report presents the discussions at the GFPPP in Heemskerk in detail, supplemented with images of the dialogue process.