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Mainstreaming Environmental Approach in DRC's Livelihoods Strategy

This project aims to improve access to better livelihood opportunities for Venezuelan refugee and migrant entrepreneurs in Colombia through environmentally friendly employment and innovative income-generating initiatives.

Posted on 15 Jan 2023

Since 2014, Colombia has experienced a significant impact from the influx of Venezuelan refugees and migrants. By the end of 2021, approximately two million Venezuelans were granted Temporal Protection Permits (ETPV) by the Colombian government. These permits enable beneficiaries to formalize their businesses and access formal employment and professional training. However, the majority of income sources for Venezuelan refugees and migrants remain informal, with 93% of jobs being informal and 98% of small businesses operating informally (Source: Livelihoods Evaluation, DRC, April 2022).

When adopting a green/environmental approach to address this issue, several gaps have been identified. These include a lack of knowledge about the scope of the Green Ecosystem, limited exploration of formal green job opportunities for the migrant and refugee population, a failure to identify opportunities in the circular economy and other environmentally focused projects, insufficient emphasis on environmental training for entrepreneurs in Economic Recovery strategies, and the absence of a methodology to study labor market and entrepreneurship systems that consider an environmental approach.

Assessing the green ecosystem

The assessment of green ecosystem of employment and entrepreneurship in Colombia, and understanding of barriers, challenges, and opportunities for Venezuelan refugee and migrant entrepreneurs will be the starting point for the development a strategy to mainstream a green approach in entrepreneurship and employability programming, implement entrepreneurship projects with green businesses, and develop strategic alliances to support them, and therefore to offer access to decent green livelihoods for Venezuelans migrants and refugees.

DRC is implementing this by incorporating a green approach in DRC livelihoods strategy, which provides a greater understanding of which barriers and challenges refugees face when seeking access to livelihoods. Furthermore, DRC seeks to create alliances with strategic partners that can support productive initiatives with an environmental focus.

To support these goals, DRC will collect and analyze information on the green ecosystem in Colombia through the labor market study, and encourage partnerships with organizations with climate resilience strategies focused on generating green jobs or environmental trainings​

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Head of Programme - Colombia

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