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Illegal Trade in Environmentally Sensitive Goods

image of Illegal Trade in Environmentally Sensitive Goods

Illegal trade in environmentally sensitive goods, such as threatened wildlife, timber, hazardous waste, and ozone-depleting substances, has been a long-standing issue in the international trade and environment agenda.  The nature of such illegal trade makes it difficult to fully understand its extent and impact on the environment.  Developing effective policies to reduce illegal trade requires a clear understanding of what drives this trade and the circumstances under which it thrives.  In this report, evidence-based on customs data and information from licensing schemes is used to document the scale of illegal trade, as well as the economic and environmental impacts of such trade.  National and international policies have an important role to play in regulating  and reducing illegal trade and the report highlights a range of measures that can be taken at both levels.

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Licensing and trade controls for environmentally sensitive goods

In this chapter we assess of the role of licensing schemes in addressing illegal trade in environmentally sensitive goods. The experience of licensing systems is reviewed for six agreements: the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Initiative, the Catch Documentation Scheme for Patagonian toothfish of the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), the Rotterdam Convention on chemicals, the Montreal Protocol on ozone-depleting substances, and the Basel Convention on hazardous waste.

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