Wildlife Justice Commission : Report
The Wildlife Justice Commission (WJC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to combating organized crime, has released a new report titled Convergence of Wildlife Crime with Other Forms of Organised Crime: A 2023 Review.
- It is a follow-up to the first report published in 2021, which mentioned 12 case studies linking wildlife trafficking with human trafficking, fraud, migrant smuggling, illicit drugs, corruption and money laundering.
- The report also reveals the environmental crime of illegal sand mining for the first time.
Highlights of the Report:
- The report uncovers strong connections between wildlife trafficking and various forms of organized crime.
- These connections include protection rackets, extortion, murder, money laundering, illicit drugs, tax evasion, and corruption.
- For the first time, the report identifies illegal sand mining as an environmental crime.
- Sand, a raw material and second-most-used resource in the world is used to make concrete, asphalt and glass.
- About 40-50 billion tonnes of sand resources are exploited each year, but their extraction is managed and governed poorly in many countries,
- The Report sheds light on the adverse impacts of unregulated sand extraction, which is a crucial raw material globally.
- Indiscriminate sand mining leads to erosion, negatively affecting communities and their livelihoods.
- It has dire consequences for aquifers, storm surge protection, deltas, freshwater and marine fisheries, land use, and biodiversity.
- The report emphasizes that illegal sand-mining operations are often organized and operated by violent sand mafias.
- The report recognizes instances of individuals, including journalists, activists, and government officials, who were killed for opposing illegal sand mining.
- These incidents were reported not only in India but also in other countries, including Indonesia, Kenya, Gambia, South Africa, and Mexico.