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Environmental crimes are best described as those crimes which are committed against the environment. It is interesting to note that environmental crimes do not only harm the environment, but it also has a negative impact on the overall quality of life as well as on the economy. Environmental crime is considered as extremely serious and, as such, it is broken down into two categories, namely (i) pollution and (ii) threads to endangered species. When environmental crimes are committed, it is not generally out of a desire to destroy the environment, although it has the end effect of causing environmental damage.

Categories of Environmental Crimes


  • Pollution

Environmental crimes can take the form of inadvertent leakage of toxins into the natural environment, failing to secure toxins correctly, or dumping toxic material, among other things. Soil, land, and air are then polluted as a result of the release of toxins. Pollution has the ability to directly cause serious environmental harm or even death. Such an example is when chemical spills cause health problems in small communities or kill off entire animal populations. The impact of pollution may also be more subtle and long lasting, like in the case of chemical DDT; it does not always kill animals outright, but it does contribute to the decline of a lot of animal populations.

  • Threats to Endangered Species

Environmental crimes can either be committed directly or indirectly. Criminals can commit environmental crimes directly by slaughtering endangered animals. Indirectly, criminals may cause damage to the habitats of endangered animals, which results in population pressure and subsequently puts these animals in danger. Slaughter and dealing in endangered species are two environmental crimes which are severely prosecuted by international agreement, except in the case of breeding programs and zoological parks. Due to the conflicting interests of companies and the endangered species in question, damage to habitat is an environmental crime which is difficult to regulate and prosecute.

Importance of Fighting Environmental Crimes


The only way to ensure that there will be an environment for future generations to enjoy is by fighting environmental crimes. We as humans are the only ones who can do something regarding environmental crimes; humans should ensure that the environment is a safe and wholesome place for plants and animals to live, since all forms of life are interconnected.

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