|Illegal trade in wildlife and timber products finances criminal and militia groups
New UN and INTERPOL study finds environmental crime worth up to USD213 billion each year
Kenya (24 June) -Global environmental crime, worth up to USD213 billion
each year, is helping finance criminal, militia and terrorist groups
and threatening the security and sustainable development of many
nations, according to a new report from the United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP) and INTERPOL.
The Environmental Crime Crisis, a
rapid response assessment, was released during the first United Nations
Environment Assembly, where action to tackle environmental crime is
high on the agenda for hundreds of environment ministers, law
enforcement officers, the judiciary and senior UN officials.
terrorist group operating in East Africa is estimated to make between
USD38 and USD56 million per year from the illegal trade in charcoal,
says the report. In total, militia and terrorist groups in and around
African nations with on-going conflicts may earn USD111 to USD289
million annually from their involvement in, and taxing of, the illegal
or unregulated charcoal trade.
Other groups that benefit from
the illegal trade in wildlife and timber products are also estimated to
earn between USD4 and USD12.2 million each year from elephant ivory in
the Central Africa sub-region, driving a significant reduction in
elephant populations across Africa, the report says.
estimates from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development (OECD), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
(UNODC), UNEP and INTERPOL place the monetary value of all
environmental crime—which includes logging, poaching and trafficking of
a wide range of animals, illegal fisheries, illegal mining and dumping
of toxic waste—at between USD70 and USD213 billion each year. This
compares to global Overseas Development Assistance of around USD135