Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Committee
Formed in 1992, the Environmental Crime Committee assisted INTERPOL in identifying emerging patterns and trends in the field of environmental crime enforcement.
The Committee acted as a forum in which law enforcement officials could meet face to face in order to discuss new strategies and practices, share experience and expertise, and build the bridges of international cooperation that are vital in the fight against international environmental crime.
During the INTERPOL/UNEP International Chiefs of Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Summit in March 2012, the decision was made to restructure the Environmental Crime Committee. This initiative, known as the Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Committee (ECEC), brings together executive leaders and decision makers from all 190 INTERPOL member countries and from member countries of the UNEP governing council to provide strategic advice on relevant issues and to harness global support.
The 1st Meeting of the Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Committee will be held from 6 to 8 November 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya, alongside meetings of the Wildlife, Pollution and Fisheries Crime Working Groups from 4 to 7 November 2013.
To support the Committee in its function, three working groups lead projects in specific areas:
Wildlife Crime Working Group
The INTERPOL Wildlife Crime Working Group initiates and leads a number of projects to combat the poaching, trafficking, or possession of legally protected flora and fauna.
Wildlife crime, such as poaching, the traffic in illegal ivory or illegal logging, can lead to the extinction of a species, the loss of biodiversity, and serious damage to the ecosystems that support our very existence. The problems are not limited to individual nations as plants and animals are trafficked across borders, and the overall effects of wildlife crime contribute to global warming and climate change.
Clearly, in today’s global economy there is a need for an international strategy to deal with wildlife crime. The INTERPOL Wildlife Crime Working Group brings together specialized criminal investigators from around the world to work on project-based activities on an international level.
We encourage participation from environmental experts across the world in order to maximize the global impact of current projects and to devise new initiatives.
The overarching aim is to identify ways and methods to improve the flow and exchange of information between wildlife enforcement agencies, INTERPOL National Central Bureaus and the INTERPOL General Secretariat.
Project leader – Ben Janse Van Rensburg
Captain, INTERPOL NCB Pretoria
South African Police Service
Elephant and rhinoceros
This Project supported Operation Baba. This was Africa's largest-ever operation against wildlife crime and resulted in the seizure of one ton of illegal ivory. The Project Group has reconvened and will be supporting the Programme by conducting operations and training in Africa.
Project leader – Elema Halake Harbala
Deputy Head Intelligence, Security Division
Kenya Wildlife Service
The Forensics project establishes and encourages the communication, cooperation and collaboration between specialists in the field of wildlife forensics and law enforcement officers requiring wildlife forensics services or expertise, and provides complementary services, materials and activities.
Project leader – Ken Goddard
United States Fish & Wildlife Service
Illegal logging is a major international concern and contributes to global warming. This newly created project is an initiative that needs support from INTERPOL member countries. Outside this project INTERPOL has already developed, with support from Worldbank, the Chainsaw project, An INTERPOL perspective on law enforcement in illegal logging.
Project Leader - Marco Fiori,
Superintendent, Head of CITES Investigative Division
Corpo Forestale dello Stato, Italy
This project provides support to INTERPOL Environmental Crime Programme’s operations and ensures that recommendations from INTERPOL Conferences on Environmental Crime are followed, in accordance with the Programme’s strategic plan.
Project leader – Brian Stuart
Head of Unit
National Wildlife Crime Unit
Chairperson – Klairoong Poonpon
Forestry Technical Officer and Head of the Wildlife Sanctuary Management Section, Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Thailand
Vice Chairperson – Luke Bond
Australia Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
Treasurer –Ann Panoho,
Senior Investigation, Wildlife Enforcement Group
New Zealand Customs
Membership of the Committee
Participation in the Committee is open to law enforcement officers, officials and experts from all of INTERPOL’s 190 member countries.
Four executive officers provide their leadership and organizational skills to the Committee:
- Vice Chairperson
The Committee members are elected during the International Conference on Environmental Crime (held every two years), from among the Committee’s delegates, and each serve a term of four years.
Current Executive Officers
Chairperson – Andrew Lauterback
Senior Criminal Enforcement Counsel
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Vice Chairperson – Brenda Ryan
National Manager Investigations, Wildlife Enforcement
Secretary – Grant Pink
Director, Regulatory Practice Section
Australia Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Populations and Communities
Treasurer – Johan Jooste
South Africa Police Service