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19 June 2015

Events in Jordan seek to boost environmental security in the region

AMMAN, Jordan – INTERPOL has supported two events held in Jordan to enhance environmental security throughout the region.

The three-day National Environmental Security and Investigative Seminar (9-11 June) and a three-day Regional Environmental Security and Investigative Seminar for the Middle East and North Africa (14-16 June) were organized by the Jordanian Royal Department for Environmental Protection, Jordanian Public Security Directorate and the German Agency for International Cooperation, with the support of the Jordanian Ministry of Environment. Some 100 participants from more than twenty countries attending the meetings.

During the regional meeting, participants agreed that environment and law enforcement agencies must combine their efforts at the regional level to develop an effective and coordinated response to transnational environmental crime. Regional and international cooperation is critical to protecting the regions' biodiversity and natural resources from the exploits of criminal enterprise.

Recognizing the importance of strengthening regional enforcement partnerships, Brigadier Bassam Abidah, Director of the Royal Department for Environmental Protection, called upon the international community to support Middle Eastern and North African regional efforts to combat environmental crime.

During the national meeting, INTERPOL led a two-day workshop with Jordanian authorities to develop a strategic national plan to ‘protect Jordan and its people through effective, integrated multi-agency law enforcement practices’. This will include the establishment of a national inter-agency task force comprising representatives from all key environment and enforcement agencies.

Head of INTERPOL's Environment Security unit, David Higgins said: "The regional setting provides a great opportunity for countries in the Middle East and North Africa to vibrantly network and develop a collaborative and coordinated regional response to strengthen environmental security."

The regional and national meetings highlight Jordan’s efforts in supporting the implementation of the 2014 INTERPOL General Assembly Resolution on Environmental Security. This is the first effort to implement the Resolution in this region.