In this report, the international instruments on organised crime –binding as well as soft law instruments- are examined in order to address organised environmental crime, conceived as a global problem that transcends the domestic borders. The United Nations Convention on Transnational Organised Crime 2000 is the main legal instrument at international level. This convention as well as the reports and strategies developed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC hereinafter) contribute greatly to shape organised environmental crime as a criminal offence at the international and domestic level.
The UNODC is characterized as the key actor in the architecture of networks coordinating actions and cooperation among international organizations, agencies and NGOs that despite their lack of operative competence and jurisdiction are offering their advice to States parties in order to raise awareness of the importance of organised environmental crime and on the different ways they can be stopped. In the fight against organised environmental crime some of the main problems are related to the lack of enforcement by State Parties due to the weakness of the state governance and the judicial systems as well as the lack of resources. Most actors fighting against it are under-resourced, in clear contrast with the criminal environment where the smugglers, poachers, criminal groups and organizations have more financial resources than most local and international authorities.
INTERPOL also plays an important role in the fight against organised environmental crime, supporting law enforcement agencies in combating environmental crime through its operational tools and services, facilitating cross border police operations and training, intelligence gathering and analyses, as well as through targeted partnerships with stakeholders.