Impact of military expenditure on biodiversity loss: worldwide evidence

The potential impact of military operations, whether occurring in times of armed conflict or during periods of peace, has been recognised as a potential factor in environmental deterioration. This study investigates the correlation between military spending and the decrease in biodiversity within a dataset comprising 112 countries. The utilisation of the quantity of endangered species functions as a proxy indicator for the diminishment of biodiversity. In addition to the allocation of funds towards military expenditures, the current study incorporates various control variables such as income, population size, and the quality of governance. We employed a combination of static and dynamic panel data estimation methodologies to estimate our model. The Fixed Effects model is commonly favoured over alternative models, including Pooled Ordinary Least Squares, Random Effects, Difference-GMM, and System-GMM. Based on the results of our research, the Fixed Effects model demonstrates an inverse correlation between military expenditure and the depletion of biodiversity. A 1% increase in military expenditure, as a proportion of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is associated with a subsequent increase of 0.24% in the depletion of biodiversity. Contrarily, a rise of 1% in both income and population yields a reduction in biodiversity of 0.75% and 2.31%, respectively. On the contrary, a marginal increase of 1% in the government efficiency index is associated with a corresponding decrease in the rate of biodiversity loss by 0.22%. Based on the findings of our research, it is advisable for governments to contemplate the use of militarism as a policy instrument in order to safeguard environmental preservation. The integration of environmental factors into military policies and overarching frameworks necessitates cooperative endeavours involving local governments and international organisations. To address the issue of reliance on limited resources, it is crucial to embrace an environmentally conscious approach when designing and manufacturing defensive equipment. Furthermore, the adoption of strategies aimed at limiting armed conflicts and interstate disputes, coupled with the efficient coordination of military campaigns and their scale, has the potential to alleviate the negative consequences for biodiversity arising from militaristic activities.
Biodiversity loss , Threatened species , Military expenditure , Static and dynamic panel , Worldwide evidence
Habibullah, M. S., Abdul Hamid, B., A Jaz, N. A., & Mohd Saudi, N. S. (2023). Impact of military expenditure on biodiversity loss: worldwide evidence. AgBioForum, 25(1), 229-241.

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