The Environmental Crime Crisis

illicit or illegal charcoal combined is estimated at a range of 2.4–9 billion USD, 151 compared to an estimated (European) combined street value of heroin in the East African market and cocaine in the west African market, worth USD 2.65 billion. 152 This indicates a vast illicit, unregulated trade in charcoal, involving illegal logging often in protected areas, large-scale deforestation, involvement of organized dealers and trans boundary shipments, including to other continents.

vessels load and export charcoal or timber, including rose- wood. Internet listings reveal over 1,900 charcoal dealers in Africa alone, at least 300 officially exporting minimum orders of 10–20 tons of charcoal per shipment. The actual number is likely to be many times higher, and minimum daily orders for many individual exporters exceed the official total annual exports from some countries. For East, Central and West Africa, the net profits from dealing and taxing unregulated,


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