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ECLAC in Colombia Continues to Create Spaces for Discussion around Territorial Linkages: Paths for Moving Towards Development and Peace

30 June 2021|News

The regional commission’s Office in Bogotá organized a radio program to reflect on the project analyzing territorial links in the department of Tolima.

On May 28, ECLAC’s Office in Colombia organized a radio program in collaboration with Voces Unidas (United Voices), a United Nations System radio project that seeks to give visibility to the work of the organization’s distinct agencies inside the country. The program created a space for reflecting on the project that ECLAC is carrying out on Territorial Linkages, rural-urban links and peace, and pointed up diverse experiences aimed at bolstering territorial development in southern Tolima department, where the project has been functioning since 2020.

The radio program featured the participation of Olga Lucía Acosta, Officer-in-Charge of ECLAC in Colombia; Carlos Tafur, Project Coordinator of the Development and Peace Corporation of Tolima TOLIPAZ (an organization dedicated to promoting capacity-development for peace); and Fernando Castrillón, National Project Coordinator of the Grupo Semillas Corporation (an environmental NGO that supports community organizations in Colombia by promoting actions for the protection and local control of land, and the food autonomy of rural populations).

During the conversation, rural-urban links provided a window into the cooperation networks that are forged in the territory, and the role that each organization plays in strengthening these networks. The participants also discussed the dialogue and partnership possibilities arising out of the various initiatives, which offer renewed leadership for charting paths of peace and territorial development.

The radio program served as a space for sharing lessons learned in the Workshop for Training and Capacity-Strengthening in Territorial Linkages, held by ECLAC last March, and exploring the various challenges and opportunities for bolstering rural and urban links in southern Tolima.

The program also highlighted three experiences in southern Tolima that focus on territorial development: one carried out by the Environmental Committee in Defense of Life, with the testimony of Jhon Fredy Sánchez, who stressed the importance of communication strategies for strengthening territorial dialogue. Also participating was Leonoricel Villamil, a town council member from Planadas, who spoke about women’s fundamental role in peace-building in Tolima and their contribution to strengthening Territorial Linkages. And finally, local teacher María Esperanza Vargas shared the experience of Voces del Sur (Voices of the South), a radio program undertaken by 50 teachers from southern Tolima’s four municipalities that was born out of necessity during the pandemic, to take education to outlying communities that had no access to virtual classes.

This was a scenario for sharing experiences, finding common ground and strengthening partnerships, in which each guest, based on their own work, contributed to the discussion of Territorial Linkages in southern Tolima. It underscored the importance of creating communication channels to reunite, building shared visions of the territory where there is room for all voices and that help us move together towards a common horizon. Ultimately, it provided tools for understanding the territory and the actors that comprise it as a living, systemic and evolving entity in which trust among the various actors must be strengthened while spaces for participation are fostered to serve as the foundation for building more inclusive public policies.

Listen to the program here: