To tackle environment crime, take action: Experts

Tackling environmental crime is no longer about coming up with resolutions, but about taking action, say experts at an INTERPOL-United Nations Environment Programme conference.
Liyana Othman Channel NewsAsia 18 Nov 15;

SINGAPORE: Tackling environmental crime is no longer about coming up with resolutions, but about taking action, said experts at the 2nd INTERPOL-United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Conference on Tuesday (Nov 17).

Issues like illegal wildlife trade and waste management, especially electronic waste, were high on the agenda.

In 2014, 41.8 million tonnes of e-waste was generated worldwide, and this amount is set to grow, along with developments in science and technology. By the year 2030, the amount of e-waste generated by developing countries will hit 400 to 700 million units, taking over that of developed countries at 200 to 300 million units, according to experts.

Forestry crime was also discussed. In response to queries about illegal forest fires in Indonesia and the haze that resulted from them, UNEP’s regional director for Asia Pacific Mr Kaveh Zahedi said that it is a problem that has yet to be tackled.

He added that the United Nations fully supports ASEAN countries which have pledged to go haze-free by 2020.

Mr Zahedi echoed sentiments that while there are legislations in place, enforcement and implementation is key.

“I think over the years, there has been a gap in government responses to ensure there is appropriate law enforcement responses to the overall security of our environment. So what we're trying to do is stimulate a greater focus on law enforcement, and in particular, investigative responses,” said Mr David Higgins, Head of the INTERPOL’s Environmental Security Programme.

The conference was organised by international police body INTERPOL and UNEP.

- CNA/dl

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