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03 June 2013

INTERPOL meeting aims to strengthen cooperation on environmental crime activities

LYON, France – To enhance future collaboration with member countries and international partners in the area of environmental crime, INTERPOL held a familiarization visit at its General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon.

The four-day visit (13-16 May), organized by the Environmental Crime Programme, brought together 16 representatives from member countries and regional, international and non-governmental organizations to learn more about the global tools, services and operations of INTERPOL and discuss possibilities for cooperation on future projects and activities.

The main objective of the meeting was to gather participants responsible for environmental crime concerns in their countries or organizations to discuss the unique advantages and opportunities which INTERPOL brings to global environmental conservation efforts.

Participants were given the opportunity to view first-hand INTERPOL’s facilities, including a visit to the 24-hour Command and Coordination Centre and a presentation on the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation under development in Singapore. They also reviewed the tools and services offered by INTERPOL, such as the I-24/7 secure police communications system, and examined the various crime areas in which INTERPOL offers its support to law enforcement worldwide. The delegates considered how they could best use these tools and services to combat environmental crimes, based on case studies of lessons learned during past international operations.

By coming together to discuss common challenges, the participants were able to identify obstacles to overcome for successful future cooperation, including insufficient communication and lack of access to INTERPOL’s tools by frontline officers. A set of recommendations was generated, and will be shared with all of INTERPOL’s 190 member countries.

Attending the meeting were representatives from China, Kenya, Nepal, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States; regional networks including the Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF), the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) and the Association of South East Asian Nations’ Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN); international organizations including the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC); and the non-governmental organizations Freeland Foundation and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).