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21 March 2018

International Forest Day: INTERPOL’s support against forestry crime

LYON, France – INTERPOL pays tribute every 21 March to International Forest Day by highlighting how the global police community tackles forestry crime from a multitude of angles including corruption, money laundering, illegal logging and timber trafficking.

As the world’s largest police organization, INTERPOL has a unique role to play in mobilizing decision makers, stakeholders and governments  worldwide to promote forestry compliance and enforcement measures worldwide.

INTERPOL’s Global Forestry Enforcement initiative supports member countries to strengthen their law enforcement response, identify criminals and their modus operandi as well as to disrupt transnational criminal operations related to forestry crimes. 

INTERPOL helps countries tackle forestry crime through a wide range of support services which include:

  • Enhancing information and intelligence sharing among investigators and intelligence services to optimise the population of INTERPOL databases
  • Issuing international notices and alerts on behalf of member countries to request information on, and warn of, the movements and activities of people, vehicles and vessels
  • Providing case-specific investigative and technical guidance through the deployment of specialised Investigative Support Teams composed of INTERPOL and national experts
  • Organizing national and regional trainings relevant to forestry crime, including evidence collection, chain-of-custody and operational planning
  • Supporting criminal intelligence analysis to identify criminals, their networks and their modus operandi
  • Providing forensic analysis support services
  • Coordinating international operations to help investigate, arrest and prosecute the criminals and networks involved in the illicit timber trade.

Unique environmental expertise

INTERPOL’s Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Committee ensures member countries have the strategic intelligence and operational support they need to tackle regional forestry crime effectively and from a global perspective.

With forestry crime a problem in all continents, INTERPOL’s Forestry Crime Working Group hosts events regularly in all regions to enhance regional cooperation and tailor efforts to the needs of law enforcement everywhere. 

INTERPOL forestry crime events in 2018 include:

  • March : Regional Forestry Crime Working Group meeting for Asia Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand.
  • April : Regional Forestry Crime Working Group meeting for Latin America, Buenos Aires, Argentina. 
  • September : Global Forestry Crime Conference, Lyon, France

By the end of 2018, INTERPOL will have provided training to some 350 officers worldwide from a number of different agencies on how to carry out effective financial investigations into the forestry sector.

INTERPOL’s work on forestry crime is carried out with the financial support of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and the US Department of State.