Ivory, charcoal funds criminal, terror groups

2014-06-25 06:46

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Nairobi - Environmental crime such as the poaching of elephants for ivory and the selling of illegal charcoal is helping to finance criminal, militia and terrorists groups, said a report from the United Nations Environment Programme released on Tuesday.

The Somali terror group al-Shabaab makes between $38m and $56m per year in illegal charcoal, the report said. Other militia groups - including the Lord's Resistance Army, which US troops are trying to help hunt down in central Africa - make between $4m and $12m a year by trafficking elephant ivory.

The most lucrative environmental crime is illegal logging, which the report said is worth between $30bn and $100bn annually.

"This is a big story. It's a sad story. It's threatening communities and international economics despite everything we've put in place at the national and international level, the forces of the market are not allowing us to come to grips with this problem," said Achim Steiner, the head of Unep.

The illegal trade in natural resources has mushroomed in recent years and threatens species and ecosystems but also national economies, Steiner said. The magnitude of money lost to national economies "registers on an economic Richter scale" and requires a more systemic response because of the transnational nature of the threat, Steiner said.

Tuesday's report was released during the first ever United Nations Environmental Assembly, a week long conference in Nairobi.

John Scanlon, the secretary general of Cites, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, said experts believe that speculators are stockpiling ivory in the belief that elephants will one day become extinct and the price of ivory will rise. Poachers have killed tens of thousands of elephants across Africa in recent years, a trend that experts say will lead to extinction if the killings are not stopped.

"There have been a clear change in the nature of wildlife crime in the last three four five years. It's happening on an industrial scale now," Scanlon said.

Not enforced

In conjunction with the week long conference, Human Rights Watch on Tuesday highlighted another type of environmental crime: A battery-recycling plant on Kenya's coast that has exposed workers and communities to lead poisoning, leading to the deaths of three people and sickening many more.

Jane Cohen, a researcher on the report, said the case was an example of what happens when economic development is not regulated.

"We've known for thousands of years that lead is dangerous," said Daniel Barstow Magraw Jr, the president emeritus of the Washington-based Centre for International Environmental Law.

"This is the opposite of sustainability, to bring in an industry that operates in a way that kills people. ... The laws in Kenya are capable of taking care of this but they're not being enforced."

This week's UN conference will bring together attorneys general, prosecutors and at least one Supreme Court chief justice to talk about environmental law, Steiner said.

"Many countries are developing environmental law. We will be looking at what countries need to do to make sure that enforcement aspect is scaled up," he said.

- AP
Read more on:    hrw  |  unep  |  cites  |  kenya  |  poaching  |  environment
NEXT ON NEWS24X

10 held for rhino poaching

2014-09-19 21:58
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It may feel like you are treading water and going nowhere fast. You may want to get off the merry go round. By pushing yourself...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.