LYON, FRANCE – Law enforcement representatives from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam have met at the INTERPOL General Secretariat for an intensive five-day consultation on enhancing intelligence-led law enforcement. Discussions focused on disrupting the networks behind poaching and illegal trade of wildlife and its derivatives, including but not limited to wild tigers and bears.
The meeting saw three major outcomes:
Capacity building: Participants agreed to improve intelligence and analytical capacity by establishing a network of analysts and investigators that will be well-trained, well-equipped and well-versed in modern analytical tools and methods.
National Environmental Security Seminars (NESS): Participants acknowledged a need to strengthen multi-agency collaboration and to formalize national relationships. Member countries are thus encouraged to initiate, with INTERPOL’s assistance, a NESS – a meeting of national experts, law-enforcement, and decision-makers – to forge a coordinated approach to combating environmental crime.
International Operations: Noting the transnational nature of wildlife crime, participants agreed to conduct multi-agency and multi-national operational exercises based on current threats, routes and modus operandi.
Participants identified existing national and interregional information-sharing methods and networks, as well as how to make the most of analytical resources by encouraging greater emphasis on collaboration. INTERPOL remains committed to acting as a conduit for information sharing between relevant law-enforcement entities. Member countries are encouraged to use I-LINK, a platform that allows information to be submitted to INTERPOL’s databases, and to engage with other established organizations for information exchange on a regional level, such as ASEAN-WEN and SAWEN.
David Higgins, Head of INTERPOL’s Environmental Security Unit, noted, “If we are to continue to generate discussion around intelligence-led enforcement, we need to focus on developing national analytical capabilities. INTERPOL is exploring the best way to do so.”
Participants will meet again in the coming months to develop a strategic plan to implement the proposed actions.