‘War on drugs’ is driving deforestation

Military action is pushing criminals into protected areas
Science Focus (UK)
Thursday, November 21, 2019

deforestationDrug trafficking and the corresponding ‘war on drugs’ are driving deforestation in Central America, two new reports published by Fundación Neotropica and the PRISMA Foundation think tank have found. Military efforts to tackle cocaine traffickers have instead pushed them into remote forests, where the shadowy underground economy they build has a devastating effect on the environment, the researchers said. The economic impact on the region’s protected forests is at least $215m per year, they found. The traffickers then clear forests to create hundreds of air strips to land planes full of cocaine coming from the Andes.