Environmental crime soars to record levels

Great article!

CHANGING TIMES

Orangutan trafficking in North Sumatra photo courtesy of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Indonesia.Environmental crime has now outstripped the illegal trade in small arms. It is now estimated that natural resources worth as much as much as US$ 258 billion are being plundered by criminals worldwide.

According to a new rapid response report, The Rise of Environmental Crime, published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the international network of police forces, INTERPOL, the monetary value of environmental crime is 26 per cent higher than previously estimated.

The annual monetary value of environmental crime is now estimated to be between $91 billion and $258 billion, compared with between $70 billion and $213 billion in 2014.

“The growth rate of these crimes is astonishing,” the UNEP/INTERPOLreport states. For the first time, and in just a few decades, environmental crime has “diversified and skyrocketed” to become the world’s fourth largest criminal enterprise after drug smuggling, counterfeiting, and human trafficking.

Environmental crime – which includes…

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