As the negotiations on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework in Montreal are drawing to a close and the evaluation of the first 30 years of the Habitats Directive is ongoing in Brussels, we have a new publication just out in Environmental Politics. The article has significant policy implications as it advances the understanding of illegal trades in European species by combining the strengths of political ecology and green criminology. Our political ecologies of green-collar crime approach highlights the role of legal businesses engaged in illegal wildlife trade, and deconstructs the power dynamics and inequalities that underlie environmental harms caused by green-collar crime.
The article Political ecologies of green-collar crime: Understanding illegal trades in European wildlife is published open access.
Illegal wildlife trade (IWT) is commonly identified as one of the drivers of global biodiversity loss and has gained increasing attention from national governments, conservation NGOs, international institutions and the private sector. We argue that analyses of drivers and dynamics of IWT within Europe must evaluate the overlooked interconnections between legal and illegal trades. In this brief commentary, we develop a new conceptual lens that brings together cutting-edge theories of political ecology and green criminology. We apply this to the European IWT context, to deconstruct the power dynamics and inequalities that underlie environmental harms caused by green-collar crime. We use the dynamics of illegal trade in brown bears, eels and songbirds as illustrative examples, and consider three cross-cutting issues that shape the trade: consumption, uncertain scientific knowledge and legislative frameworks.