Environmental crime hurts Kenya, global economy: UN
25 June 2014, 18:43
Nairobi - Global environmental crime is worth up to 213 billion
U.S. dollars each year, a UN spokesman said Tuesday, citing a newly
released UN study.
"A new report by the UN Environment Program (UNEP) and INTERPOL warns
that global environment crime, which is worth up to 213 billion U.S.
dollars each year, is helping to finance criminal, militia and terrorist
groups," said UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric at a daily briefing.
"By some estimates, the total amount generated from global
environment crime significantly exceeds the global Overseas Development
Assistance of around 135 billion U.S. dollars each year," Dujarric said.
These crimes include logging, poaching, trafficking of a wide range
of animals, illegal fisheries, illegal mining and dumping of toxic
"Such illegal trade in natural resources is also threatening the
security and sustainable development of many nations," Dujarric noted.
The UN spokesman cited the study as saying that militia and terrorist
groups in and around African nations with on-going conflicts may earn
up to 289 million U.S. dollars annually from their involvement in the
illegal or unregulated charcoal trade.
Groups that benefit from the illegal trade in wildlife and timber
products are also estimated to earn up to 12.2 million U.S. dollars each
year from elephant ivory in the Central Africa sub- region, driving a
significant reduction in elephant populations across Africa.
"The report calls for further strengthened action against the
organized criminal networks profiting from the trade," said Dujarric.
The study, titled "The Environmental Crime Crisis," was released on
Tuesday during the first United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in
Nairobi, Kenya 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.
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