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Cocaine is driving deforestation, climate change, and migration

[2019.10.08, Tue 22:05] Drug-related deforestation is also driving people out of the region, and making climate change worse. To move cocaine to its North American consumers, South American drug traffickers cut through Central America. To avoid law enforcement, the traffickers are using increasingly remote routes, including protected national forests. Forests help capture and store planet-heating carbon dioxide; when they are destroyed by traffickers or by the businesses the traffickers launder their money through, they release that planet-heating gas into the atmosphere. While researchers have made the link between narcotics and deforestation in the past, researchers say this is one of the first times that cocaine's specific role in climate change has been articulated. Experts say the new routes traffickers are taking don't just send cocaine north, they push people to migrate, too. Protecting the local people protects the local forest To better curb drug trafficking and save forests, the researchers say, governments should protect the people who call these areas home.
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