How do illegal wildlife products, live animals, exotic marine species and illegally logged timber end up in stores, zoos, aquariums and homes on the other side of the world?

Too easily, is the answer. Weaknesses in global supply chains make them vulnerable to exploitation by organised crime groups and bad actors working in legitimate businesses. Corruption opens the door to that exploitation. And the easy possibilities for laundering money from environmental crimes makes this illicit activity attractive to criminals around the world.

Business, conservation, anti-corruption, global trade, compliance and risk management. International law, organised crime enforcement, standard-setting, political economy analysis and social norms. The inaugural Corrupting the Environment dialogue used all these lenses to examine the “vicious triangle” that undermines sustainable development: corruption, illicit trade and environmental degradation.

The Confederación Patronal de la República Mexicana (COPARMEX) and Global Compact Network Mexico signed an agreement stating that they will comply with the Sustainable Development Goals in Mexico, specifically the 16th goal. The agreement refers to the action and involvement of more than 36,000 partner companies, 17 national work commissions, as well as 65 business centers throughout the country.  

This Working Paper aims to contribute to the international policy dialogue on the link between asset recovery and countries’ pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals.

It contends that supporting countries in recovering stolen assets and promoting sustainable development are mutually reinforcing. It also aims to correct the false reputation of asset recovery as a very technical legalistic field of development cooperation, and to generate broader understanding of the far-reaching role that asset recovery can play to foster development.

Recent corruption scandals have shown the negative effects that corruption may have in countries around the world, including those of the Latin American and Caribbean region. The Inter-American Development Bank has therefore convened an independent group of experts composed by eight governance and anti-corruption scholars and practitioners to identify innovative and effective approaches to combat corruption in the region.

In the past decade the prevention of corruption has been recognised as a prerequisite for sustainable and equitable development. Academics, policy-makers and activists working towards such governance reforms have come a long way in the relatively short period since corruption has been actively addressed both in the North and the South.