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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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The effect of domestic environmental policies on illegal trade

This chapter assesses the role of domestic environmental policies on illegal trade in environmentally sensitive goods. The focus is on incentive-based mechanisms. The first section looks at the role of property rights regimes for resource management. It is followed by a review of selected taxes and charges related to pollutants and waste. In the third and final section, the case of economic incentives targeting trade flows directly is assessed, with a case study on the timber trade.

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