Project Eden is an INTERPOL initiative to combat the illegal trade in waste, particularly electronic waste.

The issues

The illegal trade and disposal of waste threatens the quality of the global environment and poses a significant risk to human health.

When waste is discarded improperly or with little regard for environmental regulations, ecosystems are left vulnerable to the unregulated trade, endangering our air, water and soil.

The illicit trade in waste undermines international conventions, undercuts legitimate treatment facilities and permits the loss of recoverable raw materials, thereby threatening long-term economic sustainability and national development.

The response

INTERPOL’s Project Eden was launched during the Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Events, held in Nairobi, Kenya in November 2013.

The project works closely with the INTERPOL Pollution Crime Working Group on the following objectives:

  • Raise awareness of the illegal transnational movement of waste and the environmental and health consequences;
  • Establish National Environmental Security Task Forces (NESTs) to ensure institutionalized cooperation between national agencies, INTERPOL National Central Bureaus and international partners;
  • Develop sustainable institutional capacity of government agencies responsible for enforcing environmental legislation;
  • Promote an intelligence-led approach and conduct operations to suppress criminal activity and disrupt trafficking;
  • Examine the movement of electronic waste within and out of Europe through the CWIT Project (Countering WEEE Illegal Trade), a multi-disciplinary consortium funded by the European Commission.  

Project Eden aims to fulfil these objectives by supporting member countries in:

  • Criminal intelligence exchange and analysis to identify criminal networks, their reach and their modus operandi;
  • Regionally targeted operations conducted in importing and exporting countries. Operation Enigma Phase I targeted the movement of electronic waste between Europe and Africa. Operations Haz and Haz II targeted the illegal transport of hazardous waste between the US and Canada;
  • Training and capacity building to enhance understanding of international conventions.
26 March 2014

First e-learning tool launched to prevent illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and waste

LYON, France –The first e-learning module aimed at helping law enforcement officers identify and prevent the illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and wastes has been launched by INTERPOL and the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.With some 10 million tonnes of hazardous and other wastes transported around the world each year, th...
07 November 2013

INTERPOL launches Project Eden to target illegal waste

NAIROBI, Kenya – INTERPOL’s Project Eden, targeting the illegal trade and disposal of waste, has been officially launched during  the INTERPOL Environmental Compliance and Enforcement events in Kenya.Through Project Eden, INTERPOL aims to raise the profile of this transnational crime which in addition to threatening  the quality of the global en...
25 October 2013

INTERPOL and partners crack down on illegal e-waste trade

LYON, France – The illegal trade and disposal of electronic waste – known as e-waste or WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment) – is increasingly becoming a threat to global environmental health and security. To enhance the abilities of countries to combat this growing crime, INTERPOL and its partners have launched the Countering WEEE Illegal Tra...
30 August 2013

INTERPOL hosts delegation from United Kingdom environmental agencies

LYON, France – INTERPOL has hosted officials from UK environmental agencies to promote further collaboration with the world police body and to review the global tools and services INTERPOL provides to its 190 member countries.Representing the Serious Organised Crime Agency, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Border Policing Command, National Wildli...
02 August 2013

INTERPOL report warns carbon trading at increased risk of criminal exploitation

LYON, France – The intangible nature of the global carbon trading markets puts them at risk for exploitation by criminal networks, according to a new law enforcement guide produced by INTERPOL.The INTERPOL Guide to Carbon Trading Crime examines the areas within the industry which have the potential to be manipulated by criminals, through securities fraud,...
27 June 2013

INTERPOL-UNEP manual alerts authorities to methods of smuggling dangerous chemicals

BANGKOK, Thailand – The smuggling and concealment of ozone depleting substances (ODS) is a global problem with serious consequences for environmental protection, according to a new law enforcement handbook produced by INTERPOL and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).The manual, entitled ‘Ozone Depleting Substances Smuggling and Concealment: Ca...
25 February 2013

INTERPOL operation targets illegal trade of e-waste in Europe, Africa

LYON, France – The first INTERPOL operation targeting the illegal trade of electronic waste saw the seizure of more than 240 tonnes of electronic equipment and electrical goods and the launch of criminal investigations against some 40 companies involved in all aspects of the illicit trade.Held in November and December 2012, Operation Enigma saw the partic...
30 March 2012

Enforcement chiefs at INTERPOL-UNEP inaugural meeting design blueprint for environmental security

LYON, France ‒ National leaders of environmental, biodiversity and natural resources agencies, and departments with law enforcement responsibility, have gathered for the first time to design a global compliance and enforcement strategy to address environmental security.Hosted by INTERPOL and co-organized with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP...
14 February 2012

Effective environmental law enforcement focus of INTERPOL working group meetings

BANGKOK, Thailand – More than 240 law enforcement specialists and experts from around the globe are gathering in Thailand for the INTERPOL Environmental Crime Committee’s working groups on pollution and wildlife crime.Hosted by the Royal Thai Police, the five-day meetings (13 – 17 February) will focus on exchanging information on effective environmental l...
26 May 2011

International experts underline key role of forensics in global fight against environmental crime at INTERPOL conference

LAKEWOOD, USA – Exchanging best practices and minimum standards in the application of forensic sciences in environmental crime cases has been the focus of the INTERPOL Pollution Crime Forensics meeting which draws to a close today.The three-day meeting (24-26 May), gathering 50 representatives from 17 countries worldwide and co-hosted by the US Envir...