This post is part of the Natural Security Forum blog, which provides quick analysis from the Natural Security Forum team and outside contributors. For more information, visit the Natural Security Forum’s micro-site at www.naturalsecurityforum.org.
Written by the Natural Security Forum team
For years, environmental concerns have centered on climate change and conservation. Primary concerns have been about the effects of a warming planet and loss of biodiversity. These focuses, however, neglect the persistent and systematic threat posed by environmental crime.
Worldwide, environmental crime generates as much as $258 billion a year and grows by five to seven percent annually—two to three times the growth of the global economy. This makes it the fourth largest illicit market, behind the trade of narcotics, counterfeiting, and human trafficking.
Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing is one-fifth of the legal fishing trade, valued at $23 billion annually. Its environmental damage has been extensive, with over 90 percent of the world’s fisheries either overfished or fully exploited. The illicit mineral industry, propogated through unlicensed mining, is responsible for further annual worldwide resource losses calculated between $12 and $48 billion.
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