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.
From India, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) has been awarded under the Innovation category for combating trans-boundary environmental crime. WCCB has developed an online Wildlife Crime Database Management System which provides real time data to help analyze trends and device effective measures to prevent and detect wildlife crime across India. Online Wildlife Crime Database created by WCCB is accessible by 34 States of India and 50 Tiger Reserves of India. To combat the increasing trend of online illegal wildlife trade, WCCB sought assistance of popular online trade portals which resulted in regular flow of information about listing of illegal wildlife articles and subsequently reduced it to a negligible level.
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, comes at a hefty cost – estimated at up to $258 billion per year. It is now the fourth largest illegal crime after drug smuggling, counterfeiting and human trafficking.
“It’s a proud moment for us to have Wildlife Crime Control Bureau of India, among the awardees at the Asia Environmental Enforcement Awards 2018. We are cognizant of the urgency to protect our wildlife and have taken innovative steps in enforcement techniques to combat trans-boundary environmental crime. We will continue to endeavor to safeguard our wildlife and remain dedicated in this pursuit,” said CK Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change.