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Speaker(s): Tim Buckley and David Mansfield
Chair: John Collins

Recorded on 24 February 2017 at Thai Theatre, New Academic Building

Over the last fifteen years there has been a revolution in the deserts of south and southwest Afghanistan. Across the provinces of Helmand, Farah, Kandahar and Nimroz windswept sand and rock has been replaced by over 300,000 hectares of agricultural land. Driven by population pressure, opium prohibition and conflict 1.2 million people have settled in what was once uninhabitable desert land.

Tim Buckley is Chief Operating Officer in Alcis. Tim is well known and respected across geographic, defence and intelligence networks. He served in the British Army for ten years, providing critical GIS insight, expertise, support and advice to organisations worldwide. A GIS and remote sensing expert with over fifteen years' experience in conflict and fragile environments, Tim has recently spent over two years working within the counter narcotics and agriculture sectors in Afghanistan.

David Mansfield currently works as an independent consultant, advising a range of bilateral, multilateral and non-government organisations, including the UK Government, the EC, the World Bank, GTZ, as well as various NGOs on both policy and operational issues with regard to illicit drugs in Afghanistan and on alternative livelihoods in particular.

John Collins is Executive Director of the LSE IDEAS International Drug Policy Project. He is also coordinator of the Expert Group on the Economics of Drug Policy. John is coordinating a British Council funded project on “Illicit Drug Production and the Search for Peace in Colombia” as well as an LSE Research Division project on “Shifting Drug Strategies in Ireland and the UK”.

This event will be followed by a guided tour of the exhibition, Revolutions in the Afghan Desert: Water, Green Tech and illegal opium cultivation until 7.30pm.

LSE IDEAS (@LSEIDEAS) is a foreign policy think-tank within LSE's Institute for Global Affairs.

Update Friday 24 February 2017, 1.30pm: due to unforeseen circumstances, Richard Brittan and Sharon Harvey will no longer be speaking at this event. LSE apologises for any inconvenience this may cause.

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