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Our Planet: President Jokowi and Minister Helgesen on environmental crime

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President Joko Widodo and Minister Helgesen meet in Jakarta in February 2016. Photo: Øystein Andersen, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Jakarta.

Did you know that environmental crime is one of the fastest growing «sectors» in the global economy?

In the publication “Our Planet”, Indonesia’s President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment, Vidar Helgesen, are describing how they foresee to strengthen environmental justice.

According to UN Environment and Interpol, environmental crime has become the fourth-largest crime sector globally. They found that natural resources worth as much as $258 billion are being stolen annually.

Illegal logging, and the trade associated with it, remains the largest category of environmental crime – with an estimated annual loss of resource of about $50-152 billion. Fighting crime in the forest and land-use sector is key to ensure global climate and forest goals.

In his article in the latest issue of UN Environment's "Our Planet", President Widodo highlights the ongoing efforts to strengthen the legal system in Indonesia, and that during 2015-2016, 12 forest fire cases were brought to court incurring penalties of up to $1.2 billion.

- For Indonesia, environmental protection is a matter of national survival, since our environment constitutes the primary source of living for our people.

President Joko Widodo

Read the full article of President Widodo (PDF)

- We need to target illegality in the whole value chain – corruption, document fraud, forced labour, and tax and customs fraud – including overseas tax heavens and money laundering.

Vidar Helgesen, Minister of Climate and Environment

Read the full article of Minister Helgesen (PDF)

- Environmental crime robs developing countries of the resources – and the tax streams from more regulated trade – that they need to build their economies and societies. That hinders their ability to participate in tackling broader global issues, from international security to climate change.

UN Environment Executive Officer Erik Solhem

Read the full article of Mr. Solheim and the rest of the publication (UN Environment)