By Rajesh Rajaselvam
The tropics are home to the greatest diversity of plants and animals on Earth. Yet many of these hotspots are in war zones that disregard the rules of democracy and nurture an indefinite influence of corruption.
During the 10 years I've worked in tropical countries, I have seen the human toll on biodiversity both exaggerated and underplayed by scientists and media. Rare road kills of leopards in Sri Lanka have been mistakenly exaggerated as "organized poaching," and the systematic smuggling of reptiles in South America and Africa has been distorted as "random attempts."