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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Global Corruption Report

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Friday, December 5, 2014/Categories: Uncategorized

At first look, graft and corruption wouldn't appear related to the environment but they are likely a chief driver of natural resource destruction worldwide. Whether it is forged documents for illegally lumbered timbers from tropical forests; or bribes to officials allowing smuggled wild-captured birds, turtles, frogs, cacti or orchids across borders; to unregistered boats harvesting shark's fins for fancy restaurants, the cumulative affect of this corruption leaves wildlife populations depleted or destroyed. 

Transparency International , the global watchdog group, has just released their 20th year  corruption perceptions index  for 2014. It ranks 175 countries from "least corrupt" (Denmark with a score of 92 out of 100) to "most corrupt" (Somalia and North Korea, each with scores of 8 out of 100). The USA is ranked 17th on the list with a score of 74. The Transparency report is already causing heartburn with China (score 36 out of 100) accusing the Berlin-based agency of  "western bias"  in their annual survey of global corruption. However, according to their  announcement , no country comes off untarnished:

"Based on expert opinion from around the world, the Corruption Perceptions Index measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption worldwide, and it paints an alarming picture. Not one single country gets a perfect score and more than two-thirds score below 50, on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). Corrupt officials smuggle ill-gotten assets into safe havens through offshore companies with absolute impunity. Countries at the bottom need to adopt radical anti-corruption measures in favor of their people while Countries at the top should make sure they don’t export corrupt practices to underdeveloped countries."

Corruption Index, 'very clean'/lemon to 'highly corrupt'/dark red (credit: Transparency Intl)

The non-governmental organization has created an interactive 'info-graphic' that allows you to compare all 175 countries they surveyed. It can be viewed  here .

A map illustrating the sources for smuggled wildlife and their intended destinations would also be appropriate. Prince William considers the issue so important that he  has come to the USA to address the World Bank and meet with President Obama on the matter. His concerns about corruption and its affects on wildlife should interest everyone.


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