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Collaboration at the Front Line: INTERPOL and NGOs in the Same NEST


Higgins, D and White, R, Collaboration at the Front Line: INTERPOL and NGOs in the Same NEST, Environmental Crime and Collaborative State Intervention, Palgrave Macmillan, G Pink and R White (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 101-116. ISBN 9781137562562 (2016) [Research Book Chapter]

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At the international level INTERPOL is a central player in global environmental law enforcement. In 2010, at the 79th INTERPOL General Assembly, the Chiefs of Police from, its then, 188 member countries adopted an Environment Enforcement Resolution. This resolution acknowledges that:

Environmental law enforcement is not always the responsibility of one national agency, but rather, is multi-disciplinary in nature due to the complexity and diversity of the crime type which can encompass disciplines such as wildlife, pollution, fisheries, forestry, natural resources and climate change, with reaching effect into other areas of crime. (INTERPOL and UNEP, 2012: 2)

Reflecting concern over environmental issues, a summit of International Chiefs of Environmental Compliance and Enforcement was held at INTERPOL's General Secretariat in Lyon, France, in March 2012. This forum provided an opportunity for national leaders of environment, biodiversity, and natural resources agencies to meet and discuss action around issues such as investigative assistance and operational support, information management, capacity-building standards, and effective networks, as well as commodity-specific side-meetings covering fisheries, forestry, pollution, and wildlife. A summary of the event pointed out that:

  • Particular concern was expressed from many delegates on the scale of environmental crime and the connection with organised transnational crime, including issues of smuggling, corruption, fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, and murder;
  • The interconnectivity of environmental crime with other forms of criminal activity requires cooperation and collaboration across all levels of law enforcement in order to combat and prevent the illegal activities;
  • The current scale of environmental crime involves very similar approaches, means, and severity as other forms of crime, but is aggravated and exacerbated further by the direct serious implications it has on the development goals of many countries;
  • Particular concern is raised on the sheer scale of environmental crime including, but not limited to, illegal logging and deforestation, illegal fisheries and smuggling of toxic waste, and the severe implications of this not only on the environment, but also on human security and economic development (INTERPOL and UNEP, 2012: 2).

It is not only these issues which have been highlighted in such summits, but operational policies and practices as well. This is reflected in efforts to link up agencies and personnel across jurisdictions and across substantive enforcement areas. This is the key focus of the present chapter. In particular, as will be discussed, INTERPOL has had to forge important relationships not only with governmental agencies, but non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well. How and why this has occurred will be discussed as part of the chapter.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:environmental crime, Interpol and NGOs
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Criminology
Research Field:Criminology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Justice and the law not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:White, R (Professor Rob White)
ID Code:104529
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2015-11-13
Last Modified:2017-06-15

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