“We must recognize the major impediment to development posed by drug abuse and illicit trafficking,” said Secretary–General Ban Ki–moon in his message. Cultivating illicit crops and producing drugs threaten the environment, taking drugs puts the health of users at risk, and the illicit drug trade undermines the rule of law.
To cultivate coca, for example, farmers cut trees and use a lot of water. Deforestation and erosion are the result. The chemicals used to produce cocaine cause further damage to the environment, as they poison locals streams. Farmers, their families and communities become poorer, as their land is their livelihood.