From 2022 to 2024, our project is funded by the European Commission's Directorate General for Home Affairs via the Internal Security Fund Police. We fight against criminal networks involved in waste or endangered species trafficking, including illegal trade in timber, in and via the EU, and to recover the assets generated from these illegal activities.
While people throughout the world are raising their voice to protect our planet, illegal networks continue to cause severe damages to the ecosystem on a global scale. It is our responsibility to fight against environmental crime.
To achieve its goals, UNITE works on a transnational level and brings together law enforcement agencies, EU agencies and NGOs. It will also aim to engage with stakeholders from the financial and private sectors and the general public. The project will be led and implemented by the French Gendarmerie (OCLAESP), the Italian Carabinieri, the Guardia Civil (SEPRONA), the Hungarian and Slovak police forces and the NGOs IFAW, WWF Hungary, WWF France, WWF Belgium and TRAFFIC's in-kind support. UNITE can also count on the support of EUROPOL and CEPOL to achieve its objectives, as well as the 17 participating European countries : Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Spain, Slovakia, Hungary, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, North Macedonia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Ukraine and Georgia.
Our integrated and multidisciplinary approach with an international dimension makes it possible to cover a broad range of activities in the fight against environmental crime.
Traffickers perceive environmental crimes as low-risk – high value as they generate high profits with low-risk of detection. Traffickers’ assets are rarely recovered, and only low sanctions are applied. Criminals exploit legal channels for their activities, such as selling wildlife products on well-known online companies (marketplaces, e-commerce) and social media, transporting smuggled goods through cargo, airplanes, or couriers, and keeping financial assets in banks.
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