Environmental crime and funding insurgency

If anyone wondered how the people in Toyotas buy all that shiny kit...


Global environmental crime, worth up to US$213 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 (UNEA), 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.
One terrorist group operating in East Africa is estimated to make between US$38 and US$56 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 US$111 to US$289 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 US$4 and US$12.2 million each year from elephant ivory in the Central Africa sub-region, driving a significant reduction in elephant populations across Africa, the report says....

The full report is at http://www.unep.org/unea/docs/RRAcrimecrisis.pdf


Its been known about for decades. Since most of the governments are also involved, little is going to happen about it.
'Known about' yes-but I don't think it's ever been really quantified. The trade blooms where governance is weak, but there's usually a wealthy partner somewhere in the equation- Saudis who buy charcoal, Chinese who buy rhino, and Western countries dumping waste.
It's not just wildlife poaching- the charcoal trade is huge, and so is the waste dumping industry. Almost every insurgency seems to be in it up to the neck.

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