The Impact of Drug Policy on the Environment
Cultivation of Drug Crops Is Causing Environmental DevastationVoices
Drug crop cultivation has played a disproportionately large role in deforesting and degrading some of the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems, including those in national parks and indigenous territories. Additionally, environmental devastation is proliferating in drug trafficking regions despite sustained investments in drug interdiction and other antitrafficking measures. How can this be?
An international panel of experts, moderated by Brian Winter, editor in chief of Americas Quarterly, discusses the role of drug crop cultivation in environmental devastation. The event also launches a brief report outlining key recommendations on the topic for UN member states to consider leading up to the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs. Alexander Soros, a member of the Open Society Global Board and founder of the Alexander Soros Foundation, offers introductory remarks by video.
- Kate Horner is the director of forest campaigns at the Environmental Investigation Agency.
- Kendra McSweeney is a professor in the department of geography at Ohio State University.
- Guillermo Ospina is a researcher with the Society & Environment team at GESC in the University of Cauca.
- Nazih Richani is an associate professor and director of Latin American studies and political science at Kean University.
- Brian Winter (moderator) is editor in chief of Americas Quarterly.
In Their Own Words
Farmers in Myanmar Call for Justice
A new report, produced by opium farmers themselves, highlights the urgent need to reform an antidrug policy regime that all too often leaves families vulnerable to coercion, corruption, and brutal exploitation.
Public Health First
Incarceration Should Not Be a Death Sentence
Despite earlier promises to fight the spread of COVID-19 by reducing the number of nonviolent offenders in jails and prisons, governments worldwide are dragging their feet and prioritizing the drug war ahead of public health.
How Authoritarianism Fuels the War on Drugs
While the world’s attention has shifted to the COVID-19 pandemic, the harms and injustices of the “war on drugs” are not only continuing; they’re being intensified. What can civil society reformers do in response?