Italy Fights Prostitution With Deforestation

Oct 13, 2010· 0 MIN READ
Salvatore Cardoni holds a political science degree from the George Washington University. He's written about all things environment since 2007.
They mght not look like it, but these trees are among the innocent victims of a global sex trade. (Photo: L. Casadei / Getty)

Trees just can’t catch a break.

As if rampant clear-cutting and the ravages of global warming and invasive species aren't enough to give the global forest root-palpitations at the mere sound of a chainsaw, a grove in Italy must now worry about a new problem—prostitution.

The Guardian is reporting that Italian officials have decided to “cut down all the vegetation” in an Abruzzo region where Sidewalk Sallys are hard at work.

Leveling the forest is a last-ditch effort arrived at after cameras, increased raids, and 24-hour patrols failed to curb the illicit traffic.

The heart of the problem is the Bonifica del Tronto road, a “haven for the sex trade that runs inland for more than 10 miles from the Adriatic Coast alongside the river Tronto,” reports The Guardian.

Critique from the eco-inclined was, as expected, sharp.

According to The Guardian:

But in a statement, three environmental groups, including the WWF, said that the scheme would destroy 28 hectares (69 acres) of woodland vital to local ecosystems, saying the only crime of the thousands of trees on the local authorities' hit list had been to "offer with their fronds shelter and intimacy to sex slaves."