Colombia Country Programme

In Colombia, the Sustainable BioTrade Programme known as Biocomercio Sostenible, was launched in 1999, as a worldwide pioneer initiative. It was created with the support of UNCTAD, the Ministry of Environment, housing and Sustainable Development-MAVDT (previously the Ministry of Environment) and the Alexander von Humboldt Institute. Its objective is "to create and foster mechanisms that enhance the investment and trade of biodiversity-based products and services that use sustainable criteria, and complements and supports local and regional development efforts for the progress of Colombia".

The Programme has established an efficient and team-oriented network throughout Colombia, especially in remote areas, through which technical assistance is delivered to rural communities and small and medium-sized enterprises. Biocomercio Sostenible has evolved in the past years and is currently being managed by the National Technical Committee on Biodiversity and Competitiveness (CTNBC) (created by Presidential Decree 2828 of 23 August 2008). Within Biocomercio Sostenible, the "Observatorio de Biocomercio" (BioTrade observatory) or OBIO was developed as to promote BioTrade in Colombia.

Other key actors working in Colombia are:

  • Fondo Biocomercio Colombia (BioTrade Fund): created in 2006 to help businesses implement their BioTrade activities and access to national, regional and international markets.
  • Sinchi Institute: an independent research institution associated to MAVDT and is focused in the Amazon region of Colombia
  • Corporacion Biocomercio Sostenible: is an NGO that seeks to promote the use of biodiversity and environmental conservation to support sustainable development, with an emphasis on BioTrade.


Biocomercio Sostenible is actively involved in the regional BioTrade programmes for the Andes and the Amazon regions, including those activities implemented by BioCAF, BioCAN and UNCTAD. To date, Biocomercio Sostenible focuses its efforts on the following sectors:

  • Natural ingredients
  • Helicons and foliage
  • Amazonian fruits o Honey and derivates
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Guadua
  • Accessories and handicrafts
  • Ecotourism
  • Fauna: caiman, flowers, etc.


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