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JOINT PRESS RELEASE
CITES - INTERPOL
The World’s Police are 100% against Environmental Crime
CITES welcomes historic resolution adopted by INTERPOL’s General Assembly
Doha/Geneva, 8 November 2010 – In a display of historic consensus, the police agencies of the world have supported INTERPOL’s Environmental Crime Programme with delegates attending INTERPOL’s General Assembly in Doha, Qatar voting unanimously in favour of a resolution encouraging greater global policing efforts.
The resolution called upon national law enforcement authorities to recognize that “environmental crime is not restricted by borders and involves organized crime networks which engage in other crime types including murder, corruption, fraud and theft”. It noted that there is a vital need for a global response and that INTERPOL should play a leading role in supporting national and international enforcement. ‘Environmental crime’ encompasses activities ranging from illegal trade in wildlife, timber and marine species, to transborder movements of hazardous waste, and the illicit exploitation of natural resources.
Speaking to the Assembly shortly before the resolution was considered by more than 650 delegates from 141 countries, the CITES Secretary-General, Mr John Scanlon, reminded them that they are an integral and essential part of the conservation community, and said, “The endangered fauna and flora of the world cannot be safeguarded without you, without the police.” He also praised INTERPOL for preparing such a resolution in 2010, as the United Nations has designated this as the International Year of Biodiversity. Having witnessed the voting, Mr Scanlon congratulated INTERPOL and the international policing community. “One couldn’t have asked for a better result,” he said. “This sends a very strong message to those who seek to rob countries of their natural resources that the global law enforcement community recognizes that it must work together, led by INTERPOL, to bring these environmental criminals to justice.”
“Today’s vote clearly shows how seriously the police community of the world takes environmental crime and we look forward to the ongoing support of our member countries in this area,” said David Higgins, Manager of INTERPOL’s Environmental Crime Programme, who had presented the resolution to the conference
“We will continue to work closely with CITES and other international organizations to help protect the environment and biodiversity of the world, as environmental crime is global theft,” concluded Mr Higgins.
The Environmental Crime Programme works to provide assistance and support in the effective enforcement of national and international environmental laws and treaties. It does this by working alongside the 188 INTERPOL member countries and their Environmental Crime Committee.
The recent success of INTERPOL’s Operation RAMP, a global operation targeting the illegal trade and possession of reptiles and amphibians, is a prime example of the global law enforcement community’s willingness and desire to work together in stemming the effects of environmental crime and this was reinforced by the decision of the INTERPOL General Assembly to support the Environmental Crime Programme.
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