25 June 2014

Somalia: Al-Shabaab Rakes in U.S. $38-$56 Million From Illegal Charcoal Trade, UN Report Says

Al-Shabaab is estimated to earn between $38 million and $56 million per year from the illegal trade in charcoal, according to a report released Tuesday (June 24th) by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Interpol.

"The illegal trade in wildlife and environmental crime are now widely recognised as significant threats on a global scale, to be tackled with urgency," UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said in the report. "Beyond immediate environmental impacts, the illegal trade in natural resources is depriving developing economies of billions of dollars in lost revenues just to fill the pockets of criminals."

The report was released as part of a week-long global environmental conference at UNEP's Nairobi office aimed at tackling challenges ranging from poaching to marine pollution and boosting the "green economy", AFP reported.

"Sustainable development, livelihoods, good governance and the rule of law are all being threatened, as significant sums of money are flowing to militias and terrorist groups," Steiner said. "While there is growing awareness, the responses to date in terms of impact have not been commensurate with the scale and growth of the threat to wildlife and the environment."

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