- India gets UN Environment award for combating transboundary environmental crime.
(Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change)
United Nation Environment has awarded Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India with Asia Environment Enforcement Awards, 2018 for excellence work done by the Bureau in combating transboundary environmental crime.
- The award was decided by a selection panel constituted by the UN Environment.
- This is the second time in a row the awards are being given by UN Environment to India.
Asia Environment Enforcement Award:
- It publicly recognizes and celebrates excellence in enforcement by government officials and institutions/teams combating transboundary environmental crime in Asia.
- It is 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 criteria:
- Integrity and
- Gender leadership
However, WCCB has been conferred this award in “Innovation” category.
WCCB has developed 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 helped to analyze trends, and for carrying out operations like Operation SAVE KURMA, THUNDERBIRD, WILDNET, LESKNOW, BIRBIL, THUNDERSTORM, LESKNOW-II along with other enforcement agencies resulting in the arrest of 350 wildlife criminals and huge seizures of animal bones.
To involve the public in the fight against wildlife crime, WCCB has developed a scheme to enroll willing persons as WCCB Volunteers.
Why does UN Environment give these awards?
Transboundary environmental crime is a serious and growing problem.
Illegal trade in wildlife is the fourth largest illegal trade globally (after drugs, counterfeiting and human trafficking). It undermines food security, harms economies, devastates livelihoods, fuels terrorism, and comprises ecosystems on which humans depend.
- Asia remains one of the world’s largest dumping grounds for illegally traded chemicals and waste.
- Public officials and institutions/teams working on environmental enforcement issues are on the front-line of efforts to combat transboundary environmental crime.
- The 2018 Awards will recognize and celebrate their critical role in doing so.