INTERPOL marks World Environment Day with launch of new support manual for wildlife crime investigators

4 June 2010

LYON, France – INTERPOL is marking World Environment Day on 5 June with the launch of its Wildlife Smuggling Concealment Handbook to enhance and support the ability of law enforcement officers worldwide investigating wildlife crimes.

The manual, which is for use by law enforcement officers only, provides essential guidelines to frontline law enforcement officers on concealment methods and the telltale signs of wildlife smuggling, as well as providing a range of case studies. The development of the handbook was strongly supported by the New Zealand Wildlife Enforcement Group and is jointly published with INTERPOL partners CITES and the World Customs Organization.

“This handbook will help raise the awareness of frontline law enforcement officers and better equip them for their vital role in combating not only wildlife crime but environmental crime in general,” said David Higgins, Manager of INTERPOL’s Environmental Crime Programme.

“With the world facing in recent months blatant environmental crimes, devastating natural disasters and crippling environmental accidents, including the oil spill off the United States, World Environment Day provides an ideal opportunity for emphasizing to all sectors of society the need for collaborative global action to preserve the environment,” added Mr Higgins.

In this respect, INTERPOL provides global assistance to any of its 188 member countries investigating and pursuing environmental criminals and criminal networks.  Since the creation of INTERPOL’s Environmental Crime Programme in early 2009, it has conducted a number of significant activities of benefit to the environment, biodiversity and natural resources, including in 2010:

  • in February INTERPOL co-ordinated a global action targeting the illegal trade in traditional medicines containing wildlife products, which resulted in the seizure of products worth more than 10 million Euros.
  • on 24 March INTERPOL and UNEP launched their joint publication “The Last Stand of the Gorilla – Environmental Crime and Conflict in the Congo Basin.”
  • from 25 to 27 May INTERPOL held the first ever global E-waste meeting in Alexandria, USA, during which a global approach to combating the illegal trade in E-waste was planned
  • and between 13 and 17 September INTERPOL will host at its General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon its 7th International Conference on Environmental Crime, which for the first time will encourage discussion and recommendations with respect to all types of environmental crime including forestry, fisheries, wildlife and pollution.