The non-sustainable and illicit exploitation of the historic environment for short-term commercial gain is only part of a wider problem of environmental issues which urgently need to be faced. Here is a report on the wider problem. UNEP/Interpol: 'The Environmental Crime Crisis, threats to sustainable development from illegal exploitation and trade in wildlife and forest products'. Some of the findings and conclusions parallel what antiquities activists have been saying all along:
The pace, level of sophistication and globalized nature of wildlife and forest crime is beyond the capacity of many countries and individual organizations to address. Of particular relevance is the increasing involvement of transnational organized crime in the illegal trade of wildlife and timber, as well as the significant impact on the environment and development. Solutions will require a combination of efforts to address both supply and demand reduction, based on deterrence, transparency, legal enforcement, behavioral change and alternative livelihoods. Differentiated strategies for addressing illegal wildlife and timber trafficking must be developed across the relevant value chains (source, transit and destination countries)Obviously some more holistic approach needs to be adopted towards protecting the environment. For an opinion piece summarising the main conclusions: Hilary Whiteman, 'Environmental crime nets $213B, threatens global security, U.N. says', CNN June 25, 2014. I wonder how many antiquity dealers and collectors will bother reading, let alone reflecting on it.
Hat tip, report: Tess Davis, CNN headsup, Emiline Smith.