Executive leaders from across the world are due to meet in Nairobi on Wednesday to design a joint international strategy to tackle environmental crime, organizers said.
The three-day meeting organized by the UNEP and the international police organization Interpol will also focus on cooperation between intergovernmental organizations, as well as the environmental enforcement actions of focus for the international community.
"Interpol and UNEP recognize that only by working together, with common objectives, will we truly have an impact on the activities of the individuals, networks and companies that illegally exploit our shared environment, biodiversity and natural resources," the two organizations said in a joint statement issued in Nairobi on Tuesday.
Both Interpol and the UNEP are working together to enhance environmental compliance and enforcement at the national level and across borders.
The UNEP said environmental crime is a serious and growing international problem, whose impacts transcend national borders.
"Environmental crime often occurs hand in hand with other offences such as international terrorism, corruption, money laundering and murder. The same routes used to smuggle wildlife across countries and continents are often used to smuggle weapons, drugs and people," it said.
Wildlife crime is estimated to be worth 15 billion to 20 billion U. S. dollars annually and is recognized as the fourth largest global illegal trade behind illegal drugs, human trafficking and trade in illegal arms.
Indicators also show that the illegal trade in wildlife and timber may help finance terrorism and organized crime across the world. More....