INTERPOL environmental working group meetings enhance collaboration
LYON, France - Designing a joint international strategy to tackle environmental crime is the focus of a series of Environmental Crime Working Group Meetings being held at the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon.
The 25th Wildlife Crime Working Group Meeting, the 19th Pollution Crime Working Group Meeting and the 3rd Fisheries Crime Working Group Meeting were held from 25-27 November, along with parallel meetings of INTERPOL's Green Customs Initiative and Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Committee (ECEC) Advisory Board.
Some 200 members of senior law enforcement officials from 60 INTERPOL member countries from around the world and representatives from international organizations have set out strategies to best deal with environmental crime in all its forms, and ensure that governments and law enforcement officials recognize and raise awareness of the dangers created by this type of crime.
David Jordan, Chair of the ECEC Advisory Board and Executive Director of Operations for the England Environment Agency said: "INTERPOL has brought together law enforcement representatives from a range of countries around the world to form collaborative relationships to work together to combat environmental crimes. The challenges we face are many, therefore by working together we can create a strong network of allies for disrupting the criminal networks behind environmental crime. I have been very impressed with the enthusiasm shown across so many countries, and I am optimistic that we can make a real difference together."
National law enforcement agencies face a number of challenges in tackling environmental crimes due to the increasingly organized and sophisticated criminal syndicates involved. INTERPOL provides unique support that connects law enforcement organizations and allows for international cooperation through information sharing on illicit trade activities and the exchange of best practice techniques on combating wildlife and forest crime.
"Maintaining and enhancing our commitment towards member countries and environmental security requires a multi-disciplinary response, bringing together conservation management, legislators and enforcement officials. Meetings such as these allow us to present a united message to the world that the global law enforcement community is engaged in a collective effort to protect our natural resources," said David Higgins, the Head of INTERPOL's Environmental Security unit.
Enhancing cooperation between INTERPOL member countries and environmental enforcement actions is necessary to detect trends and impacts of crimes against the environment. The importance of addressing other crimes which are often perpetrated by the same criminal networks, such as trafficking in human beings, corruption, money laundering and drug smuggling, was also highlighted.
For more, please consult the Official website of INTERPOL: www.interpol.int/crime-areas/environmental-crime/
Image credit: INTERPOL
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