Igarape Institute releases new study on environmental crime in the Amazon Basin

According to the world’s top scientific experts, deforestation and degradation are up 25 percent in the first six months compared to last year. More forests are being cleared in 2020 than at any point in the past 15 years.

Although spectacular levels of illegal burning have occupied global headlines, a host of other less visible but equally significant environmental crimes are being committed throughout the Amazon basin every day. Such crimes not only impact biodiversity and the global climate, but are virtually always associated with social ills ranging from corruption to slavery and violence.

A new paper from the Igarape Institute – Environmental Crime in the Amazon Basin: a Typology for Research, Policy and Action – introduces a typology to help better understand the scope and scale of the problem and its extensive social and environmental impacts. To date, one of the principal barriers to better policing of the Amazon is the confusion and ambiguity of what is, and is not, a crime. Different countries apply different interpretations which can frustrate investigations and the enforcement of existing laws. The new paper is designed to provide greater clarity to policy makers, law enforcement agencies, civil society actors, and companies committed to curbing environmental crime.

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