Shared Responsibility

Shared Responsibility is a Colombian Government initiative that aims to raise awareness around the world and educate the global population about the destruction caused to the rainforests as a result of cocaine production.

Despite it’s relatively small size Columbia is the second most biologically diverse country on Earth: home to about 10% of the worlds mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish and plants. The world gets much of its oxygen and water from rainforests and the ecosystems it supports.

The coca plant grows very well in the rainforest areas within Colombia but to produce around one gram of cocaine requires 4 square meters of rainforest to be destroyed.

The growing and producing of cocaine in the rainforest affects local communities, animals and plant life, as many of the dangerous and harmful chemicals used in the manufacturing process are discarded into the water supplies and fertile land.

In 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 per head of population, Scotland was the world's largest consumer of cocaine (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime World Drug Report). Police Scotland is currently rolling out a programme across schools and communities to educate our population about this issue.

Scotland wants to reduce the demand for cocaine to preserve the world's rainforests and its vital ecosystems and reduce the markets where cocaine can be bought and sold by Serious Organised Crime Groups.

There are many ways in which you can help make a difference:

  • Tell your school or youth club about Shared Responsibility and suggest that you run a project on it.
  • Have a fundraising coffee morning - perhaps you could sell community supports Fair Trade products.
  • Have a community event to tell people about and showcase your Shared Responsibility work.

We want you to think about how our actions in the communities of Scotland have an effect on the communities in Colombia in the hope that we can make the difference and help preserve our rainforests. Have a look at our booklet for more information.

Get in touch

Interested? Why not check out some of these examples?

If you want anything further please email

Find out how cocaine is made in this video from the NCA: