Crimes that affect the environment

Addressing the triple crisis of biodiversity loss, climate change and pollution

"Our world is at a tipping point. Protecting people and planet represents one of the greatest and most urgent challenges we face. Organized crime poses a major threat to our environment, with organized criminal groups around the world engaging in wildlife trafficking, crimes in the fisheries sector, waste trafficking and illegal mining, among other illicit activities. This exploitation has a serious impact on our ecosystems, on our national security, and on the lives of millions of people who depend on these natural resources for their livelihoods.

UNODC Executive Director, Ghada Waly, at CCPCJ 2021

The Environment Team of the UNODC Border Management Branch assists Member States to prevent and respond to crimes that affect the environment such as wildlife and forest crime, crimes in the fisheries sector, illegal mining, and trafficking in precious metals and waste. Crimes that affect the environment are serious organized crime with far-reaching impacts for the economy, security, the environment, and human health, contributing to biodiversity loss and climate change. UNODC’s efforts to address these crimes contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular Sustainable Development Goals 3, 13, 14, 15 and 16.