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: