Background

Environmental Crime explained

Transnational organized environmental crime is a rapidly growing threat to the environment, to revenues from natural resources, to state security, and to sustainable development. It  robs developing countries of an estimated 70-213 billion USD annually.

Transnational organized environmental crime involves five key areas:

  • illegal logging and deforestation
  • illegal fisheries
  • illegal mining and trade in minerals including conflict diamonds
  • illegal dumping and trade in hazardous and toxic wastes
  • illegal trade and poaching of wildlife and plants

It is extremely hard to fight such crimes as they are constantly hidden within legal trade, take advantage of tax havens and are mostly controlled by huge criminal organizations. 

GRID-Arendal’s Environmental Crime programme aims to:

  • raise global awareness of the losses and risks associated with the rise in organized crime and illegal exploitation of natural resources
  • support UN REDD in reducing deforestation through project LEAF and ORGFORC with INTERPOL, UNODC, CITES, WCO, UNEP, FAO and UNDP
  • upport West African nations in reducing illegal fisheries and rise in piracy off West Africa
  • combat wildlife crime in East Africa by training frontline rangers, prosecutors and customs together with UNODC and INTERPOL