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Task forces

National Environmental Security Task Forces

We are encouraging countries to establish National Environmental Security Task Forces (NESTs) as an effective way to fight environmental crime.

This initiative was officially launched by INTERPOL at the 21st INTERPOL Asian Regional Conference on 18 September 2012 before 150 officials from 40 countries.

A NEST is a national multi-agency cooperative formed from police, customs, environmental agencies, other specialized agencies, prosecutors, non-governmental organizations and intergovernmental partners.

The purpose of the NEST is to bring together law enforcement agencies and their respective areas of expertise around a common mission or goal, such as reduction of pollution, conservation of a species or protection of other natural resources including forests and fish stocks.

A recommended model of NEST formation and structure has been outlined in the National Environmental Security Task Force manual.

Background and purpose

This concept was first proposed during the a meeting of the Environmental Crime Committee in 1995, and was presented to the INTERPOL General Assembly in 1996. In Resolution AGN/65/RES/25, the General Assembly asks the INTERPOL National  Central Bureaus to set up a national working party comprising representatives of the law enforcement agencies and administrative departments responsible for the control of waste products, in order to carry out the following priority tasks:

  • Collect information and statistics on environmental crime;
  • Ensure that crime analysis of data is carried out in each country;
  • Be attentive to the problems of the law enforcement agencies and the administrative departments responsible for waste control and look for ways of solving those problems.

The Resolution also requested that the national working parties prepare an annual summary report of their activities.

In Finland, the Finnish National Group for Monitoring of Environmental monitors all environmental crime and development in cooperation with various supervisory authorities. The group also prepares an annual report on the environmental crime situation in the country.

Finnish Annual Report (2009-2010)

National Environmental Security Seminar 

As a first step towards creating a NEST, countries hold a National Environmental Security Seminar (NESS). This brings together national experts and decision makers responsible for environmental compliance and enforcement. It is designed to lead to the formation of a National Environmental Security Steering Committee (NESSC), composed of heads of national agencies or their appropriately delegated representatives which gives guiding direction to the establishment of a NEST.

Since the launch of the NEST initiative in September 2012, the following countries have held a Seminar, generating valuable momentum for environmental law enforcement on a global level:

Togo, 20 May 2014
Lomé, Togo

Senegal, 13 May 2014
National Police Academy, Dakar

Japan, 6 March 2014
Ministry of the Environment, Tokyo

Panama, 26 February 2014
INTERPOL National Central Bureau, Panama City

El Salvador, 24 February 2014
INTERPOL National Central Bureau, San Salvador

Costa Rica, 8 August 2013
San José, Costa Rica

Mexico, 27 November 2012
INTERPOL National Central Bureau, Mexico City

Mozambique, 19-20 November 2012
INTERPOL National Central Bureau, Maputo

China, 17 October 2012
INTERPOL National Central Bureau, Beijing