Conclusions and Policy Implications
Though this case study has delved into the relationship between the mining industry and environmental crime in RA, the general characteristics and sources of environmental crime found in this study are not unique to RA. Corruption is a common symptom of mining sectors all over the world which leads to environmental crime that harms the environment and local population, ecosystems, and nonhuman species. In a world still largely fuelled by non-renewable resources, developing countries have an incentive to continue to invest in the mining sector over other industries as a means to increase the pace of their development. For these countries, developing other industries would help to break their dependence on a single sector and the resulting power imbalance and environmental crimes this causes. However, to accomplish this not only in RA but also in countries with similar mining sectors, outside forces such as international institutions and the EU need to incentivize compliance with international agreements and help develop local institutions to enforce both international and national laws. Incentives from outside players to create a mining sector that complies with applicable laws are an important factor to counterbalance the incentives of the mining sector to commit environmental crimes. In this sense, the results of this case study can be applied to mining sectors in other developing countries as well.