Drugs and warfare are two poorly understood drivers of land use change yet in certain places they may be the most important causes of land use change. We researched the impact of warfare in in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and found complex interactions between mining, conflict and protected areas. Overall, conflict decreased deforestation while mining increased deforestation. But when conflict took place in areas with with mining, the impact of mining on deforestation was lessened. Interestingly, protected areas remained effective even during times of conflict.
We have an ongoing research project on the land use impacts of legal marijuana cultivation in Northern California. We hope to have publications submitting this fall. Feel free to contact us if you are interested in this topic and we can let you know what we have been up to.