A growing threat to natural resources peace, development and security
The environment provides the very foundation of sustainable development, our health, food security and our economies. Ecosystems provide clean water supply, clean air and secure food and ultimately both physical and mental wellbeing.
Natural resources also provide livelihoods, jobs and revenues to governments that can be used for education, health care, development and sustainable business models.The role of the environment is recognized across the internationally agreed seventeen sustainable development goals adopted in 2015.
However, the environment as the very foundation of sustainable development, peace and security is now at risk. Environmental crime is vastly expanding and increasingly endangering not only wildlife populations but entire ecosystems, sustainable livelihoods and revenue streams to governments. By some estimates, possibly more than a quarter of the world’s elephant population has been lost in a decade.
However, environmental crimes are no longer restricted to iconic wildlife and rare wood species alone – they have become part and parcel of the larger global network of transnational organized environmental crimes. Environmental crime also include corporate crime in the forestry sector, illegal exploitation and sale of gold and minerals, illegal fisheries/fishing, trafficking in hazardous waste and chemicals and threat finance using wealth generated illegally from natural resources to support non-state armed groups and terrorism.