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Can conflict help drive conservation?

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Research shows the vast majority of armed conflicts occur in areas rich in biodiversity. While that means bad news for flora and fauna, some suggest war can sometimes provides conservation opportunities too.

The link between conflict and conservation has generally not been high on the list of priorities for environmental research. But that changed a few years ago when a study by the group Conservation International found that more than 80 percent of armed clashes in the second half of the 20th century played out in biodiversity hotspots.

Experts point out that conventional warfare has long been known to wreck landscapes and ecosystems for decades to come. But, the changing nature of conflict carries equally disastrous ecological consequences and is turning richly biodiverse regions into battlefields. Read on…