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Biodiversity & Environment

UN Environment Award for India

  • 23 Nov 2018
  • 2 min read

Nine institutions and individuals from across Asia have been recognized by the United Nations, USAID, Interpol, and the Freeland Foundation for outstanding work in preventing transboundary environmental crime in an annual award ceremony in Bangkok.

  • United Nation Environment has awarded Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change with Asia Environment Enforcement Awards, 2018 for excellent work done by the Bureau in combating transboundary environmental crime.
  • The Asia Environment Enforcement Awards publicly recognize and celebrate excellence in enforcement by government officials and institutions/teams combating transboundary environmental crime in Asia.
  • The awards are given to outstanding individuals and/or government organizations/teams that demonstrate excellence and leadership in enforcement of national laws to combat transboundary environmental crime in one of the following eligibility criteria areas: collaboration; impact; innovation; integrity and gender leadership.
  • WCCB has been conferred this award in Innovation category.
  • WCCB has adopted innovative enforcement techniques like an online Wildlife Crime Database Management System to get real time data in order to help analyze trends in crime and devise effective measures to prevent and detect wildlife crimes across India.
  • This system has been successfully used to analyse trends and for successfully carrying out operations such as:
    • Operation SAVE KURMA: species specific operation on turtles
    • THUNDERBIRD: it is code-name for INTERPOL’s multi-national and multi-species enforcement operation
    • WILDNET: to curb illegal trade of wild animals and parts through online platforms
    • LESKNOW: to check illegal trade of lesser-known species of animals

Environmental crimes

  • Environmental crimes, which include illegal trade in wildlife, illicit trade in forests and forestry products, illegal dumping of waste including chemicals, smuggling of ozone depleting substances and illegal mining, estimated at up to $258 billion per year.
  • It is now the fourth largest illegal crime after drug smuggling, counterfeiting and human trafficking.
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