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Organized Environmental Crime
Black Markets in Gold, Wildlife, and Timber
by Daan van Uhm
February 2023, 285pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7960-9
$50, £38, 44€, A68
Available for purchase 30 days prior to publication.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7961-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The rising global scarcity of natural resources increasingly attracts transnational criminal organizations.

Developing an innovative approach to understanding how organized crime groups diversify into the illegal trade in natural resources, this book looks at the convergence between environmental crime and other serious crimes.

Organized Environmental Crime explains how and why transnational criminal organizations diversify into the illegal trade in natural resources. Daan van Uhm breaks new ground by rejecting the classic image of organized crime as specializing in one kind of criminal activity. Instead, the rising global scarcity of natural resources increasingly attracts transnational criminal organizations, which rapidly shift from “traditional” criminal activities, such as drug or human trafficking, to the illegal trade in natural resources.

The proliferation of this organized environmental crime exacerbates the global destruction of ancient rainforests; the mass extinction of species; and the pollution of the atmosphere, land, and water. It undermines local and national economies, deters sustainable development, disturbs ecosystems, and negatively affects all people.

Including personal stories from van Uhm, who has conducted interviews in many areas with criminal activity, this accessible book contributes to two topical debates: one on the increasing involvement of organized crime in the illegal trade in natural resources, and the other on the diversification of organized crime in general. These insights will be crucial for researchers, scientists, law enforcement, policymakers, and NGOs.

Features

  • Develops an innovative approach to understanding how organized crime groups diversify into the illegal trade in natural resources
  • Illustrates the urgency of the proliferation of organized environmental crime by describing the global destruction of ancient rainforests; the mass extinction of species; the pollution of the atmosphere, land, and water; and the far-reaching impacts and threats to social security and safety
  • Offers insights that will be crucial to developing inventive solutions to address the increasing involvement of organized crime in environmental crimes
Daan van Uhm, PhD, is a criminologist from Utrecht University, the Netherlands, specializing in green criminology. He has conducted research on various forms of environmental crime, including wildlife trafficking, deforestation and timber trade, and illegal mining. Van Uhm obtained his PhD in criminology at Utrecht University in 2016, and he is the author of The Illegal Wildlife Trade: Inside the World of Poachers, Smugglers and Traders. In 2018, he received the prestigious Veni grant from the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) for his research project "The Diversification of Organized Crime into the Illegal Trade in Natural Resources."
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