Global organised crime syndicates have found a new way to make a ton of money: illegal logging and deforestation.A new report by the U.N.’s environmental wing, UNEP, and INTERPOL highlights just how profitable an enterprise environmental crime has become; the economic value of illegal logging is estimated to be worth $30-$100 billion and makes up 10-30 per cent of all timber trade. Additionally, the loss of revenue and tax income from illegally harvested wood is at worth least $10 billion per year.
“The vast majority of deforestation and illegal logging takes place in the tropical forests of the Amazon, Central Africa and Southeast Asia,” the report notes. “Recent studies into the extent of illegal logging estimate that it accounts for 50–90 per cent of the volume of forestry in key producer tropical countries”
organised crime groups seem to have little regard for the environmental consequences of their actions. Not only does deforestation increase carbon levels in the atmosphere, but many indigenous tribes and peoples have been endangered or displaced due to these organised criminal activities.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.