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  1. Methamphetamine use in Myanmar, Thailand, and Southern China: assessing practices, reducing harms

    • Renaud Cachia, Thura Myint Lwin
    18 February 2019
    Policy briefing

    Over the past decade, methamphetamine use has grown more popular in Myanmar, Thailand and Southern China. Based on in-depth interviews conducted with individuals who use methamphetamine, this briefing sheds light on the importance of promoting an environment that reinforces, rather than undermines, the ability of people who use methamphetamine to regulate their drug use, preserve their health and adopt safer practices.

  2. The Challenges of Medicinal Cannabis in Colombia

    • Nicolás Martínez Rivera
    29 October 2019
    Policy briefing

    In July 2016, the Colombian government enacted Law 1787, which regulates the use of medicinal cannabis and its trade in the country. With this decision and a series of subsequent resolutions, Colombia joined the more than a dozen countries that have put into practice different types of regulation to explore the advantages of this plant as an alternative pharmaceutical.

  3. Selling the Silk Road Spirit

    07 November 2019
    Policy briefing

    This briefing aims to deepen discussion on the Belt and Road Iniatiative (BRI) in Myanmar. The BRI is often described as a ‘grand strategy’ led by President Xi Jinping, centrally planned and rolled out by obedient state-owned enterprises (SOEs). The sheer size of the initiative – 136 countries have received US$90 billion in Chinese foreign direct investment and exchanged US$6 trillion in trade with China - can make the BRI appear monolithic and inevitable. However, using a political economy analysis, this briefing demonstrates that the BRI is not a grand strategy, but a broad framework of activities that seek to address a crisis in Chinese capitalism. An examination of four BRI projects in Myanmar using Chinese language sources shows the extent of lobbying by Chinese SOEs and the Yunnan provincial government to promote the projects, with support from the central Chinese government.

  4. Border Wars II thumbnail

    Border Wars II

    • Mark Akkerman
    19 December 2016
    Policy briefing

    This briefing updates the July 2016 report ‘Border Wars: the arms dealers profiting from Europe’s refugee tragedy’ . It shows that the European policy response to the refugee tragedy continues to provide a booming border security market for Europe’s arms and security firms, some of whom are involved in selling arms to the Middle East and North Africa and all of whom encourage European policies focused on keeping refugees out. It’s a win-win for the security corporations, but the cost is a deadly toll for migrants forced into ever more dangerous routes as they flee wars, conflict and oppression.

  5. Cannabis in the City

    • Tom Blickman, Katie Sandwell
    20 March 2019
    Policy briefing

    In order to better understand the situation around, and possibilities for, local and regional cannabis regulation, a series of six country reports were developed. The country reports provide detailed information about the state of cannabis policy, and the possibilities for change, within each country. This briefing identifies some of the key findings and implications for policy makers and advocates from this research.

  6. Myths and risks of the EU-Myanmar Investment Protection Agreement

    • Cecilia Olivet, Pietje Vervest
    21 September 2017
    Policy briefing

    As the signing of the EU-Myanmar Investment Protection Agreement (IPA) draws near, concerns over the secrecy surrounding the agreement’s negotiations and the risks it poses abound, alongside many myths about its potential benefits.

  7. Sons and Daughters of the Earth

    • Food First, Alberto Alonso-Fradejas
    16 April 2013
    Policy briefing

    In the face of violent dispossession and incorporation into an exploitative labor regime, indigenous peasant families in northern Guatemala are struggling to access land and defend their resources as the basis of their collective identity.

  8. Morocco and Cannabis

    • Tom Blickman
    15 March 2017
    Policy briefing

    Is the aim of reducing cannabis cultivation realistic or beneficial for Morocco? What would it actually mean for the major production area the Rif – one of the poorest, most densely populated and environmentally fragile regions in the country? This briefing will give some historical background, discuss developments in the cannabis market, and highlight environmental and social consequences as well as the recent debate about regulation in Morocco and European policies.

  9. Harvesting Crops Nigeria - image by Yosef Hadar World Bank

    Bottom Up Accountability and Securing Communal Land Rights in Cross River State

    01 October 2017
    Policy briefing

    Communities in Cross River State, Nigeria are losing access to the forest lands on which they depend for their livelihoods.

  10. Image of UN Flag

    UN Common Position on drug policy - Consolidating system-wide coherence

    • Martin Jelsma
    03 December 2019
    Policy briefing

    In November 2018, the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination adopted the ‘UN system common position supporting the implementation of the international drug control policy through effective inter-agency collaboration’, expressing the shared drug policy principles of all UN organisations and committing them to speak with one voice.

  11. Growing back stronger

    • Jan Douwe van der Ploeg
    02 July 2020
    Policy briefing

    The current economic crisis is merely triggered by COVID-19, argues Jan Douwe van der Ploeg. The real causes reside in the specificity of today’s global economic structure and especially in three key features that lie at its core. In this policy brief he discusses these key features with reference to farming and food and presents building blocks for the construction of resilient alternatives to the current crisis.

  12. Silent expansion

    • Pia Eberhardt, Cecilia Olivet
    15 April 2020
    Policy briefing

    The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) has been exposed as the fossil fuel industry's powerful secret weapon to keep cooking the planet. It is now on the brink of a massive geographical expansion into Africa, Asia and Latin America, threatening to bind yet more countries to corporate-friendly energy policies. This briefing unpacks the risks for developing countries and the empty promises of those pushing for new countries to join.

  13. Cannabis in Latin America and the Caribbean

    • Alejandro Corda , Mariano Fusero
    15 March 2017
    Policy briefing

    Cannabis (or marihuana) is one of the most widely consumed psychoactive substances in the world. According to the United Nations World Drug Report, 183 million people, or 3.8% of the world’s population, used cannabis in 2014. Its cultivation was also reported by 129 countries. Cannabis is subject to the United Nations System for International Control of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (hereafter “drugs”) and is the most widely consumed of all the drugs. According to that control system, cannabis is among the substances with the strictest legal status; they are the most prohibited, supposedly because of the harm they cause and their lack of medical usefulness.

  14. Paraguay: The cannabis breadbasket of the Southern Cone

    • Guillermo Garat
    03 October 2016
    Policy briefing

    Paraguay is the principal producer of cannabis in South America. Despite its importance as a supplier of cannabis in South America, there has been a surprising absence of serious studies of its impact on its own society, and on the play of offer and demand in neighbouring countries.

  15. Photo credit: Sativa Nusantara Foundation, Indonesia

    Ganja di Indonesia

    • Dania Putri, Tom Blickman
    24 February 2017
    Policy briefing

    Penggunaan ganja tidak pernah menimbulkan masalah besar di Indonesia, namun kebijakan prohibitionist (pelarangan) tetap diberlakukan sampai sekarang. Meskipun prevalensi konsumsi ganja cukup tinggi, diskusi lokal atau nasional terkait kebijakan ganja jarang sekali dilakukan. Hal ini juga diperburuk oleh sikap anti-narkotika serta kegagalan institusi publik dalam merancang dan menerapkan kebijakan yang berbasis ilmiah. Karena perundang-undangan anti-narkotika yang berlaku saat ini, terdapat banyak hambatan dalam proses penelitian tentang ganja, baik dari segi medis maupun antropologi.

  16. The 2020 General Election in Myanmar: A Time for Ethnic Reflection

    22 December 2020
    Policy briefing

    The 2020 general election was one of disappointment for ethnic nationality parties in Myanmar. Prior to the polls, expectations were high that they would win a larger number of seats than in previous elections. In the event, the National League for Democracy won another landslide victory. NLD gains were largely at the expense of the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party. The position of ethnic parties, in contrast, will remain relatively the same.

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    Burma's New Government: Prospects for Governance and Peace in Ethnic States

    26 May 2011
    Policy briefing

    What are the prospects for Burma's quasi-civilian government effectively addressing the country's ethnic minority grievances and resolving the multiple, decades-long conflicts?

  18. Voters checking off their names at polling booths at Wan Hai High School, Shan State

    Myanmar: Ethnic Politics and the 2020 General Election

    24 September 2020
    Policy briefing

    The 2020 general election is scheduled to take place at a critical moment in Myanmar’s transition from half a century under military rule.

  19. Harvesting Crops Nigeria - image by Yosef Hadar World Bank

    Building Bottom-up Accountability in an Era of Land Grabbing in Sub-Saharan Africa

    01 October 2017
    Policy briefing

    Access to and control over land and associated natural resources play a key role in whether and how rural working people are able to build decent and dignified livelihoods, avoid or escape hunger, participate in decision-making, avoid or escape political exclusion and marginalization, and sustain collective identities and social reproduction processes.

  20. Cannabis rescheduling: A global introduction

    • Dania Putri
    15 October 2020
    Policy briefing

    In January 2019 the World Health Organization issued a collection of formal recommendations to reschedule cannabis and cannabis-related substances. 53 member states of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) are set to vote on these recommendations in December 2020.

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