The International Criminal Police Organization, better known as INTERPOL and representing 190 member countries, has addressed environmental crime since 1992. It divides offences broadly into pollution and wildlife crimes and developed Working Groups, consisting mainly of enforcement agencies, to come together once a year to discuss issues. In 2009, INTERPOL developed an Environmental Crime Programme. Initially consisting of a few staff, the programme has grown in 2013 to over 20 staff of varying levels of experience.
World Customs Organization
Representing the world’s Customs agencies, the World Customs Organization (WCO) assists countries to develop the effectiveness of their responses to protect borders. The WCO includes Regional Offices for Capacity Building (ROCB) and Regional Intelligence Liaison Offices (RILO), which manage information exchange tools and databases including Environet, specifically addressing environmental crimes.
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime addresses environmental crime mainly through its custody of the Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC). The Convention includes Protocols to address specific crime areas (trafficking in persons, smuggling of migrants, and trafficking in firearms). The former Executive Director of the UNODC suggested that a fourth protocol on environmental crime might be necessary. Several decisions and resolutions under UNTOC have addressed environmental crimes.
United Nations Environment Programme
The United Nations Environment Programme aims to be “the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda”. Whilst addressing a broad range of environmental issues across the globe since 1972, its engagement in issues of criminality have been limited to date. In the outcome document from the RIO+20 meeting in June 2012, which recommended the upgrading of UNEP tackling organized crime it is not mentioned as a function.
International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime
One of the most significant developments taken by intergovernmental organizations in this area was the formation of the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC). The consortium brings together five agencies: the CITES Secretariat, INTERPOL, UNODC, World Bank and the WCO and has assigned focal points from each organization to form an ‘experts group’.