International Coalition on Drug Policy Reform and Environmental Justice

How it all began…

Health Poverty Action began working on the intersection of drug policy and environmental justice ahead of COP26 in Glasgow 2021.  We formed an active working group with activists and academics and produced 12 short filmed interviews with SEEDS for Change for every day of the COP. Following the COP it became apparent how absent the role of drug policy was from the climate space – as a driver of environmental destruction but also the role it plays in undermining climate resilient development and mitigation programs in key ecological regions. 

The working group grew over the next year and in December 2022 at Queen Mary’s University, London we hosted a Symposium with people from the Environmental Sector and people from the Drug policy reform movement to learn and share from one another. It was agreed an international Coalition was needed, pulling together a diverse group of  individuals from both sectors with personal and professional experience.  


LATEST UPDATE: On Monday 26th June we launched a statement in response to the UNODC 2023 World Drug Report Special Booklet on the Amazon Basin.

Read our full statement

In February 2023 we formed officially as the International Coalition on Drug Policy Reform and Environmental Justice and hosted our first event at the 66th Commission on Narcotic Drugs at the UN in Vienna.

Our global coalition is composed of advocates, activists, artists and academics from both the drug policy reform movement and the environmental and climate movement. With members from Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Myanmar, the Netherlands and the UK.

Our aims

Our aim is to connect the dots between these two areas and raise awareness on how current drug policy is undermining environmental justice as well as efforts to prepare for and mitigate the climate emergency. We seek reforms to drug policy that centre ecological harm reduction and the responsible legal regulation of the drugs trade. The coalition has agreed the following approach to raise this vital issue to public consciousness and propel it up the global policy agenda:

Agitate. To participate at events, conferences and workshops where drug policy and/or climate and environment is absent.  

Elevate. Create a recognised global and diverse network of members. 

Communicate. Raise awareness by collating evidence and testimonies. 

Accountability. Ensure that the interests of those most impacted and regions most harmed are always at the forefront of this work, and call out green washing of these issues and efforts that reduce or minimize the crisis of this intersection.  

Recognising that this policy arena has historically been dominated by agendas of the Global North or Minority World, the coalition is intersectoral and is a space to share knowledge, experience and privilege.


The coalition meets bi-monthly. To get involved contact [email protected]