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Patrolling Indonesia’s natural heritage

Closing ranks on environmental crime

INTERPOL HQ staff spent a week with INTERPOL Jakarta environmental crime investigators to take a closer look at Indonesia’s environmental challenges and how it is going about protecting an exceptional natural heritage. 

With a unique geography favoring an exceptional biodiversity, Indonesia has the third largest forest-lands in the world.  Home to a unique mixture of Asian and Australasian plant and animal life due to its location between the Indian and Pacific oceans, this South Pacific archipelago nation has its own exclusive range of sea and coastal ecosystems, the world's greatest diversity of coral reef fish, and is home to countless endemic and rare species of bird, mammal, primate, reptile, plant and insect.

Yet it is estimated that one species becomes extinct every day in Indonesia. Once abundant, the tiger, rhinoceros, orangutan, elephant, and leopard are verging on extinction. The world’s fourth most populous country is struggling to share its natural resources equitably between humans, animals and plant life.  This article explores the current situation, examines the difficulties and highlights the exceptional work being done by Indonesian law enforcement in preserving its greatest wealth of all, its extraordinary natural resources.

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“INTERPOL is a vital partner in this multi-faceted fight to protect our natural resources, as it is the only organization which can give our investigations and action the international outreach they require to be effective.”

Police Inspector General Sugeng Priyanto, Head of the Indonesian Police’s International Relations Division, where INTERPOL Jakarta operates under his command