Posts Tagged ‘interpol’

Wildlife Crime Police Expand Scope

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Here’s some new developments in international environmental law enforcement worth paying attention to.  First, earlier this month INTERPOL’s General Assembly voted unanimously in favor of a resolution encouraging greater global policing efforts to stem environmental crimes.  This may sound like diplo-speak for more nothing, but it is a necessary step to Interpol’s Environmental Programme moving forward.  I was at Interpol HQ for talks in Lyon, France earlier this year.  The program has a lot of potential and offers a fairly neutral forum to address transnational environmental crime, but it is so poorly funded it relies on a couple of NGOs for its budget.

The second development is the new International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) “eye-kwik,” which will bring together INTERPOL, CITES, World Customs, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Bank into a new effort.  These are key international institutions related to wildlife and crime but ICCWC is yet another committee and the word “wildlife” tends to yield next to no money/government commitment when it comes to crime.  It remains to be seen what the group will produce.  An alternative might have been to step up authority for INTERPOL’s environmental programme without creating a new entity. 

ICWCC is touted in this linked story as an alternative to ASEAN’s wildlife enforcement network, criticized here for not taking down the real Mister Bigs of SE Asia.  WEN could certainly do more, but it has made progress.  And that is more than most wildlife trade bodies can say. 

Check out Azrina Abdullah’s excellent comment below:

Huffington Post: Wildlife Smuggling by Bryan Christy

Monday, January 4th, 2010

For most crimes, journalists are part of an eco-system involving the public, law enforcement, and the courts.  That system isn’t functioning well when it comes to wildlife crimes.  Journalists have a great opportunity to help bring the eco-system back to health, but first they have to adjust their focus.  To explain what I mean, I wrote this essay for the Huffington Post…

 

Wildlife Smuggling:  Why Does Wildlife Crime Reporting Suck? by Bryan Christy

Did you read the story about the illegal trade in gorilla testicles? Have you seen the one about parrots poached in Brazil using glue? How about the news bulletin last week about the guy at LAX with Australian lizards strapped to his chest?

Generally there are two kinds of wildlife crime stories in the media: the weird news item showing a smuggler in flagrante (a stunned German tourist with a marmoset hidden in his beard) and the “in-depth” overseas report. I want to focus on the latter because too often these overseas reports kill endangered species.   Continue…