Illegal charcoal, logging, ivory trading finances criminal and terrorist groups, UN group says

The United Nations Environment Program says that environmental crime is helping to finance criminal, militia and terrorists groups.

A new report released Tuesday said that the terror group al-Shabab makes between $38 million and $56 million per year in illegal charcoal. Other groups make between $4 million and $12 million a year by trafficking elephant ivory. And the most lucrative environmental crime is illegal logging, which the report said is worth between $30 billion and $100 billion annually.

Achim Steiner, the head of UNEP, called the report a "sad story" that threatens communities and economies. He said a more systematic and systemic response is needed because of the transnational nature of the threat.

The report was released during the first ever United Nations Environmental Assembly, a weeklong conference in Kenya.