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Combating Environmental Crime with INTERPOL

Today, the U.S. National Central Bureau (INTERPOL Washington) is hosting its first U.S. Interagency Environmental Crime Meeting. INTERPOL’s General Secretariat and INTERPOL Washington partnered in this effort to bring together approximately 35 representatives from federal agencies to discuss ways to foster communication and identify opportunities to enhance international cooperation and participation in combating environmental crime. “I am quite pleased that INTERPOL Washington and INTERPOL’s General Secretariat have partnered in this great effort to build partnerships with federal agencies that have a strong focus in protecting our environment. I hope this meeting today will be the first of many as we all work collaboratively to prevent crimes that can have a detrimental effect on our environment both nationally and internationally,” stated INTERPOL Washington Director Timothy Williams. Environmental crime is any breach of a national or international environmental law or treaty that exists to ensure the conservation and sustainability of the world’s environment, biodiversity, or natural resources. Examples of this type of crime include poaching and trafficking of wildlife and the illegal emission of pollutants into waterways or the air. INTERPOL’s Environmental Crime Program assists its 188 member countries in the effective enforcement of national and international environmental laws and treaties in order to contribute to the ongoing conservation of the world’s environment, biodiversity and natural resources. Crimes against the environment are a serious international problem that can both directly or indirectly affect a nation’s economy, security, or very survival. The impact can be felt in many ways, ranging from the depletion of natural resources to the destruction of habitat, and from the extinction of species to human fatalities. Environmental criminals often stand to gain high profits at a low risk from their activities. Increased coordination in investigation, additional resources, and effective deterrents are essential in order to combat the problem. Topics of discussion at today's event will focus on INTERPOL’s activity in the support of laws associated with wildlife, pollution, forestry, fisheries, natural resources, water, protected areas, bio-security, and climate change and ways INTERPOL’s Environmental Crime Program assists its member countries in the effective enforcement of environmental laws. For more information on INTERPOL's effort to combat environmental crime, visit the INTERPOL Web site:
Updated April 7, 2017