The Rise of Environmental Crime Report released by UNEP and INTERPOL

Jun 13, 2016 12:12 IST

The report titled The Rise of Environmental Crime was released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and INTERPOL on 4 June 2016. The report revealed that environmental crime grew up by 26 per cent larger than previous estimates of 2014.

The Rise of Environmental Crime

Environmental crime is the world's fourth-largest criminal enterprise after drug smuggling, counterfeiting and human trafficking.

INTERPOL and UNEP have joined forces to bring awareness in the world about the environmental crime.

The crime includes the illegal trade in wildlife, corporate crime in the forestry sector, the illegal exploitation and sale of gold and other minerals, illegal fisheries, the trafficking of hazardous waste and carbon credit fraud.

 Highlights of the report

• The report finds that weak laws and poorly funded security forces are enabling international criminal networks and armed rebels to profit from a trade that fuels conflicts, devastates ecosystems and is threatening species with extinction.

• The vast sums of money generated from the environmental crimes keep sophisticated international criminal gangs in business, and fuel insecurity around the world.

• The report recommends the world to come together to take strong national and international action to combat environmental crime.

• It includes measures targeted at disrupting overseas tax havens; an increase in financial support commensurate with the serious threat that environmental crime poses to sustainable development; and economic incentives and alternative livelihoods for those at the bottom of the environmental crime chain.

• The last decade has seen environmental crime rise by at least 5-7 per cent per year. This gives an impression that environmental crime is growing two to three times faster than global GDP.

• The report also looks at how money generated from the illegal exploitation of natural resources funds rebel groups, terrorist networks and international criminal cartels.

• The report notes that transnational organized criminal networks are using environmental crime to launder drug money.

• The report looks at the rise of white collar environmental crime, from the use of shell companies in tax havens to launder money generated from illegal logging to transfer mispricing, hacking and identity theft.

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