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Joint statement on nature-related crime


SEPTEMBER 22, 2022

Yesterday in New York, Norwegian Climate and Environment Minister Espen Barth Eide and US Under Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Monica Medina co-hosted the roundtable on wildlife crime with ministers and senior officials from 11 countries, who have come together to address the challenges that wildlife crime – criminal forms of logging, mining, cash trading wildlife, land conversion and associated criminal activities, as well as crimes associated with fishing – pose for sustainable development, and how to address this challenge.

Following the roundtable, Minister Eide and Deputy Secretary Medina, on behalf of the governments of Norway and the United States, issued the following statement:

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We welcome the active participation today of our colleagues in the Roundtable on Wildlife Crime: Raising Ambition to Combat Wildlife Crime and thank all participants for their important contributions and insights. . As we have heard today, nature-related crime – criminal forms of logging, mining, wildlife trade, land conversion and related criminal activities, as well as crimes associated with fishing – gives rise to one of the largest illicit economies in the world, valued at hundreds of billions of dollars annually. These crimes harm ecosystems and local communities, impede development and have significant long-term consequences for future generations.

The United States and Norway are close partners in addressing these direct threats to nature and people. Nature is only the first victim of this chain of organized and international criminal exploitation. Syndicates that commit these crimes fuel corruption, financial crimes, including tax evasion and money laundering, and wreak havoc wherever they operate. No country, no land, no water, no people is safe from their illegal, often brutal activities. We look forward to working with those who joined us today as we develop a new collaborative initiative – the Nature Crime Alliance.

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Roundtable participants noted a variety of effective interventions and investments to combat nature-related crime, but agreed that these efforts fall far short of what is needed to end these illegal activities. . To reverse the trend, political commitment to combat nature-related crime must increase by an order of magnitude.

The Nature Crime Alliance would serve as an international multi-stakeholder initiative to:

    • Catalyze the political will to aggressively pursue powerful criminal networks and actors who commit crimes against nature, working to strengthen legal frameworks and enforcement tools to this end;
    • Engage civil society, technical experts, and law enforcement agencies to build operational capacity and cooperation to better identify, disrupt, and prosecute individuals and syndicates controlling nature-related crime and others illicit activities that it allows;
    • Mobilize donors, philanthropic organizations and multilateral organizations to fund and propel this fight to the next level, mobilizing resources where these crimes converge;
    • Support the rights of indigenous peoples and the safety of indigenous peoples and local communities, including women, in their efforts to combat nature-related crime and build their capacities to sustainably conserve, manage and defend the nature, of which we we all depend.

For more information see https://naturecrimealliance.org/