Golden Crescent

Golden Crescent

The Golden Crescent is the name given to Asia's principal area of illicit opium production, located at the crossroads of Central, South, and Western Asia. This space overlaps three nations, Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan, whose mountainous peripheries define the crescent.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) heroin production estimates for the past 10 years show significant changes in the primary source areas. Heroin production in Southeast Asia declined dramatically, while heroin production in Southwest Asia expanded.cite web | title = Interpol: Drugs Sub-Directorate: Heroin | url = | year = 2007 | accessdate = 2007-07-05 | publisher = Interpol ] In 1991, Afghanistan became the world's primary opium producer, with a yield of 1,782 metric tons (U.S. State Department estimates), surpassing Myanmar, formerly the world leader in opium production. The decrease in heroin production from Myanmar is the result of several years of unfavorable growing conditions and new government policies of forced eradication. Afghan heroin production increased during the same time frame, with a notable decrease in 2001 allegedly as a result of the Taliban's fatwa against heroin production. Afghanistan now produces over 90% of the world's opium.


The Golden Crescent has a much longer history of opium production than does Southeast Asia's Golden Triangle, even though the Golden Crescent emerged as a modern-day opium-producing entity only in the 1970s, after the Golden Triangle did so in the 1950s.


Although the Golden Triangle heroin dominates the Asian illegal drug markets, the Golden Crescent is increasingly becoming a source of illicit drugs trafficked into western China, particularly the nearby Xinjiang Province.

See also

* Opium production in Afghanistan


External links

* [ Geopium: Geopolitics of Illicit Drugs in Asia]
* [ UN Report: Afghanistan’s Drug Industry] (PDF, 223 pages)
* [,,contentMDK:21133060~pagePK:146736~piPK:146830~theSitePK:223547,00.html Afghanistan: Drug Industry and Counter-Narcotics Policy] , World Bank

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