The EFFACE project undertook a three phase analysis of the quantitative and monetary impacts of different types of environmental crime. The first phase sought to evaluate the availability of data for ten identified types of environmental crime. The report, “Understanding the damages of environmental crime: Review of the availability of data” evaluates the availability of data on:
- Waste: landfills and dumping
- Illegal waste shipment from Europe
- Pollution incidents
- Protected Areas
- Illegal trade in chemicals
Data was found to be highly variable and significant gaps for specific kinds of environmental crime existed. For example, there was little to no data on environmental crimes in protected areas nor was there sufficient data for illegal trade in chemicals. Lack of sufficient data made it difficult to provide a robust estimate of the overal impacts of environmental crime, however, a second phase of analysis selected five specific areas of environmental crime for further in-depth analysis where sufficient data existed.
The five areas of environmental crime analysed in depth were:
- Arson events
- Illegal wildlife trade in rhino and elephant
- Marine pollution
- Illegal WEEE shipments from the EU to China
- Illegal wildlife trade in Horsfieldii Tortoise
The research conducted found that data can be useful to understand the impacts of environmental crime. For some areas of environmental crime, gaps in data can be overcome by linking together data from different sources. For example, in the report on illegal wildlife trade of rhinos and elephant, population data in combination with poaching data was used to gauge the rate of extinction of elephant and rhino. Despite being an economic analysis, these reports found that there were many qualitative impacts of environmental crime that were not easily quantified in monetary or economic terms but that did have important impacts on economic development, public health, political institutions and the environment.