Biodiversity, land degradation, and erosion continue to escalate all around the world, but especially in countries with significant importance in post-conflict regions, such as the Colombian case. This alarming trend leads to environmental, social, and economic risks that need to be analyzed for fostering climate change mitigation and peacebuilding processes. In that vein, assessing promising sustainable business models is crucial to co-creating of profits, social and environmental benefits and for the identification of land-use interventions challenges to achieve peacebuilding and environmental conservation in rural areas of Colombia. Responding to this need, we used a two-phase mixed methods design. First, we present a quantitative baseline on six sustainability indicators: income, costs, yields, associativity, knowledge generation, soil improvement, biodiversity, and robustness and stability in cocoa sales in two contrasting regions with degraded landscapes: Caquetá and Cesar. Second, through a qualitative approach with cacao growers, we assessed the effectiveness of the potential business model in terms of sustainability indicators. Preliminary results show that for producers, better quality cocoa, i.e., fermented and dried on the farm, with organic practices and sold associatively, is the way to achieve positive and significant changes in income, costs, yields, biodiversity, soils, etc. This framework maps and assesses the potential linkages between land use interventions and business models for cacao growers for alleviating poverty, building resilience to climate shocks, and promoting peacebuilding in Colombia.
Sustainability indicators, peacebuilding, business model, land use interventions.