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 crimes in an annual award ceremony in Bangkok. It was announced by UN Environment today, November 22.
Wildlife trafficking was in the spotlight as winners from China, India, the Republic of Korea, , Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand, and Viet Nam accepted awards for disrupting international criminal networks that have laid waste to wildlife across multiple continents.
“Humanity is the guardian of the natural world, and these winners are at the tip of the spear. Without their commitment to justice, our environmental laws and safeguards are a paper tiger. And though their work may often go unrecognized, it is their qualities of courage, dedication and integrity we need to see more of to preserve our planet,” said Dechen Tsering, UN Environment Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific.
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.
Photo: RMN News Service
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