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The Transboundary Governance & Environmental Crime Programme (TG&EC) works with governments across the world, primarily in developing coastal states. The programme’s main activities include:

  • assisting states with improving their governance of the coastal and marine areas
  • building capacity and facilitating the use of new technologies
  • strengthening states’ legal systems in combatting and preventing environmental crimes
  • drawing national and international attention to environmental crime activities

The TG&EC programme works across a diverse range of projects, including the activities of the Tehran Convention and its Caspian Environmental Information Centre, the UNEP Playing for the Planet Alliance, the Earth Observation for Sustainable Development project. Moreover, it supports the development of work on circular economy as well as a wide range of environmental crime projects.

The programme works closely with partner agencies, including the United Nations Environment Programme, the European Space Agency, UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Interpol, FishGuard Partnership and Oceans5 as well as other donors and partners.

Transboundary Governance

Water as well as other natural resources know no borders. Peaceful cooperation in combination with sustainable use of shared resources are critically important, but cooperation and decisions that lead to it require transparency, data availability and scientific evidence. By focusing on transboundary governance, GRID-Arendal does not only seek to provide innovative tools and technologies that enable the sustainable use and protection of such shared resources, but also helps countries reinforce governance and increase transparency.

Environmental Crime

Environmental crime is the fourth largest area of organized crime in the world (UNEP-INTERPOL) and one of the hardest to tackle, largely because it is interlinked with many other crime areas such as white-collar crime, organized crime and terrorist organizations. The lack of a precise definition and insufficient global attention is worrying because of the continuous increase in natural resources depletion and the fragility of countries already at risk. Indeed, it has been estimated that at least 40% of the conflicts during the last 6 decades have been linked to natural resources crises.

Since 2014, GRID-Arendal along with other key actors at the international arena have been working on identifying new kinds of environmental crime, raising global awareness, and finding innovative solutions. Throughout the years the programme has been focusing on improving communication, finding technological responses, gathering data and building capacity on the five main identified areas of environmental crime (UNEP-INTERPOL):

  • Illegal logging and timber trade
  • Illegal fisheries
  • Illegal mining and trade in minerals
  • Illegal wildlife trade and poaching
  • Illegal waste trafficking and dumping

Remote Sensing and Earth Observation Technologies

Currently, the TG&EC programme is also focusing its efforts on encouraging the utilisation of information products generated from various forms of remote sensing and earth observation technologies. Stable access to this kind of information can be crucial for the detection and prosecution capabilities of states affected by different kinds of environmental crime.

Our projects are building on the strengths of our different partners to provide capacity building and training in using information from remote sensing and earth observation technologies (including UAVs) in order to address transboundary issues and environmental crime.

Find out more by watching the video below:

Status: In progress

Type: Programme

Tags: Africa Asia biodiversity chemicals toxics and heavy metals fisheries forests Latin America natural resources Pacific Small Island Developing States technology&innovation terrestrial transboundary governance wildlife environmental crime


GRID-Arendal's activities are nearly always a cooperative undertaking made possible through collaboration with partners and donors.

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