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date: 01 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores crimes affecting the natural environment. Drawing on insights from green criminology—the study by criminologists of environmental harms, laws, and regulation—the chapter examines the impact of environmental crime on the natural environment. It begins with an overview of the theoretical and conceptual lens offered by green criminology in the study of eco-crime and the natural environment before turning to a discussion of natural resources crimes such as illegal logging and wildlife trade. It then considers pollution offenses and the contamination of air, land, and water, along with issues of illegal waste disposal. It also emphasizes the importance of having the right kinds of laws and regulatory mechanisms, as well as the right kinds of environmental law enforcement practices and procedures, in responding to eco-crime. The chapter concludes with an analysis of overarching trends and the challenges involved in confronting environmental crime.

Keywords: natural environment, pollution, green criminology, environmental harms, environmental laws, environmental crime, eco-crime, illegal logging, illegal wildlife trade, illegal waste disposal

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