The Environmental Crime Crisis

Recently, UNODC have developed the Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime to strengthen the crime prevention and criminal justice response, and are providing support to a wide range of countries. 163 At INTERPOL, the Environmental Crime Unit 164 has an estab- lished record of training law enforcement and conducting successful operations across a number of countries to combat environmental crime from wildlife crime to illegal logging. Established in 2009, the unit became an official Sub-Directo- rate of INTERPOL in 2013.” A number of initiatives involving direct collaboration between UNODC, WCO, CITES, INTERPOL, UNEP and other UN agencies provide a new approach to share and exchange vital information, support and training to countries under particularly high pressure from environmental crime. These initiatives have revealed important lessons and yielded signif- icant early results. However, the scale and coordination of the efforts must be substantially increased and a widened effort implemented. They must be combined with efforts on good governance, management and consumer awareness to ensure a long-term demand reduction. It is particularly crucial to support the countries directly, as financial resources need to be directed towards efforts with effect on the ground, whether in enforcement, governance or consumer awareness.

with a USD 4,000 fine. The suspect was acquitted of money laundering, despite evidence showing USS 127 million had passed through his accounts. An appeal filed by the Prosecu- tors trying the case resulted in a conviction of money laun- dering. The High Court of Jayapura, Papua, sentenced the suspect to eight years imprisonment on 2 May 2014, revealing the scale of illegal logging and smuggling. Resolutions have also been adopted by the UN governing bodies. These include ECOSOC Resolution 2013/40 on crime prevention and criminal justice responses to illicit trafficking in protected species of wild fauna and flora, the 2014 Commis- sion on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice resolution on strengthening a targeted crime prevention and criminal justice response to combat illicit trafficking in forest products, including timber as well as the General Assembly Resolution 68/193 emphasizing that “coordinated action is critical to eliminate corruption and disrupt the illicit networks that drive and enable trafficking in wildlife, timber and timber products, harvested in contravention of national laws. The INTERPOL General Assembly adopted a Resolution in November 2010 (AG-2010-RES-03) recognising that INTERPOL plays a leading role in supporting international law enforcement efforts to tackle environmental crime, which is transnational, involving organised crime, who engage in other crime types including murder, corruption, fraud and theft.


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