Interpol Pledges War on Eco Crime

Interpol on Monday adopted a resolution unanimously pledging support to back the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and to fight environmental crime.

“One couldn?t have asked for a better result,” the secretary general of CITES, John Scanlon, said in gas-rich Qatar where the resolution was adopted.

“The endangered fauna and flora of the world cannot be safeguarded without you, without the police,” he told the annual assembly of Interpol, which adopted the resolution.

“This sends a very strong message to those who seek to rob countries of their natural resources that the global law enforcement community recognises that it must work together, led by Interpol, to bring these environmental criminals to justice.”

In its resolution, the global police organisation said environmental crime “is not restricted by borders and involves organised crime which engages in other crime types, including murder, corruption, fraud and theft.”

It urged police forces across the world to support Interpol’s Environmental Crime Programme which assists and supports “the effective enforcement of national and international environmental laws and treaties.”

“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.

The resolution underscored the need for a global response due to the “influence that environmental crime has on the global economy and security,” the resolution said.

It recommended the creation of an “Environmental Crime Committee” and urged member countries and partner organisations to make financial contributions to the committee or provide specialised personnel.

One thousand policemen and delegates from 188 countries are attending the 79th Interpol General Assembly which runs until Thursday.

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