A Partnership is Launched to Tackle Environmental Crime — How Will it Work?

wildfire in the distance
El Espectador
Vancouver, Canada
A Partnership is Launched to Tackle Environmental Crime — How Will it Work?

When talking about the activities that are affecting animals, plants and ecosystems—what we know as biodiversity—we are likely to hear about extreme temperatures, the melting of glaciers or the construction of infrastructure such as roads, which often end up affecting the routes and habitats of different species.

But there is another element that is worsening the situation of biodiversity worldwide: crimes against nature. If you are in Colombia, you may have seen news about deforestation, illegal mining or wildlife trafficking. All of these activities are environmental crimes, along with some others such as illegal fishing or land conversion.

These crimes are not only affecting animals, plants and ecosystems around the world, but are also one of the main sources of income for criminal organizations. In fact, it is estimated that between $110 billion and $281 billion in revenue is generated each year. This, in turn, has an indirect impact of between one and two trillion dollars.

What to do in the face of such a huge problem? There is no single answer to this question, but now a group of stakeholders from various sectors has come together to launch the Nature Crime Alliance (NCA).

"This is the first time that a multi-sectoral response to crime has been developed on such a scale," the Alliance wrote in a statement. Its members include the United States, Norway, Gabon, Interpol, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, indigenous peoples and local communities, and various international and civil society organizations, such as the World Resources Institute (WRI).

The Alliance was inaugurated this Wednesday, August 23, at the seventh assembly of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), before an audience from different countries. During the launch, Ani Dasgupta, president of WRI, said that there has been "no progress in addressing crimes against nature, which is a really difficult thing to tackle. But we will not achieve our environmental goals if we are not able to do something about it".

This is a summary. Read the full story in Spanish.


This story was supported through Internews’ Earth Journalism Network's Reporting Fellowship to the 7th Global Environment Facility Assembly in Vancouver, Canada. It was originally published by El Espectador on August 23, 2023 and has been translated from Spanish and lightly edited for length and clarity.

Banner image: Some of the most common environmental crimes are deforestation, illegal mining or wildlife trafficking / Credit: EFE - Mauricio DueÒas CastaÒeda.

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