InSight Crime has teamed up with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to study the criminal activities driving deforestation, forest degradation and biodiversity loss in Colombia. The project — titled “Transparent Governance of Natural Resources” and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) — tracked illegal mining, land grabbing, illegal logging, and wildlife trafficking in the country’s Amazon and Pacific regions. Also partnering on the project were Transparency for Colombia (Transparencia por Colombia), a branch of Transparency International, and the Foundation for Conservation and Sustainable Development (Fundación para la Conservación y el Desarrollo Sostenible), a conservation group focusing on Colombia’s Amazon region.
InSight Crime and our partner organizations explore the four main drivers of deforestation in Colombia: wildlife trafficking, illegal mining, timber trafficking, and land grabbing.
We also provide a primer on how organized crime acts as a motor for environmental crime, in turn decimating lands and vital species while also stoking violence in Latin America.
More on Environmental Crime
Illegal gold mining is devastating South America's jungles. The trade has been destroying large swaths of forest and flooding rivers with toxic mercury at an alarming rate.
Authorities in Ecuador have seized close to 200 baby tortoises native to the Galápagos Islands that are coveted in the exotic reptile trade.
Authorities in Brazil have seized thousands of live freshwater fish native to the country’s Amazon region that are commonly seen in the aquarium trade.
The sheer size of Colombia's reserves makes them a target for the illegal clearing, appropriation and sale of protected land.
More than half of Colombia is covered in forests, but rampant illegal logging is decimating the country’s woodlands.