Illegal Trade in Natural Resources - What can Brussels do?

Objectives of the Conference

On 29-30 September 2010 the Institute for Environmental Security organised an international conference on 'Illegal Trade in Natural Resources - What can Brussels do?'. The event, held at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels, sought to promote EU-based solutions for combatting illegal trade in natural resources and aimed at:

  • Improving understanding: Provide a global overview of the issues at stake through various perspectives (environment, trade, development, peace & security). Improve the understanding of the dynamics and actors behind illegal trade in natural resources.
  • Assessing existing solutions: The conference will provide an overview and evaluation of existing international legal and voluntary initiatives undertaken to curb illegal trade in natural resources.
  • Identifying EU's options: The conference seeks the answer to the question 'What can Brussels do?' and aims to propose concrete steps that the European Union could take to positively impact global natural resources trade and support the fight against corruption and crime based on illegal exploitation of natural resources.
  • Enhancing cooperation: Offer an opportunity for policy makers, researchers, NGOs, IGOs and the private sector to exchange ideas on how to improve the fight against the import of illegally extracted natural resources in the European Union.

Conference Materials

Session I: Problem - Illegal trade in natural resources, a global issue and the limits to existing tools

  • R. de Koning, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
  • Joost Van Der Zwan, International Alert X
  • J. Zboril, European Economic and Social Committee
  • H. Mitchell, Resource Consulting Services

Session II: The politics and economics of illegal trade

Session III: Solutions & Gaps - International, legal and voluntary initiatives

A. Government & Legislative Action:

B. Corporate & Civil Society Action:

Trade in Natural Resources: A Role for Remote Sensing?

  • G. Campbell, European Space Agency X


Maps 1 & 2
  • Mining the Conflict
  • Wood Exports from Congo Basin

Map 3
  • Mineral and Oil Belts

Maps 4 & 5
  • Natural Resources Flows
  • Gorilla Territory affected by War, Mining and Logging

Maps 6 & 7
  • The Bushmeat Chain Reaction
  • Suspicious Timber Supply

Partner Organisations