By George Kebaso
The International Police plans to increase its presence in East Africa by strengthening the Nairobi Bureau office, to help combat environmental crime. Interpol’s Environmental Security Unit head, David Higgins said more officers would be deployed in the region to help investigate poaching of natural resource products. The decision to increase officers working in East Africa is based on the need to stimulate exchange of information and strengthen law enforcement, as it emerged that little was being shared in regard to environmental crime.
However, with the available information, Interpol says there is a link between wildlife and natural resource crime, terrorism; civil conflicts and instability in the region. “All these issues require collaboration especially trans-boundary in our collective efforts to curb environmental crime,” said Higgins. A seminar bringing together representatives from the five East Africa Community (EAC) member countries and Seychelles; agree that environmental crime poses a serious transnational law enforcement challenge and requires concerted efforts to address it.
The outcome of the Interpol Environmental Security Sub-Directorate (ENS) seminar, according to Higgins, are meant to re-affirm findings of a report; The Environmental Crime Crisis: Threats to Sustainable Development from Illegal exploitation and Trade in Wildlife and Forest Resources. The report was launched last Tuesday in the just concluded United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA) meeting.