CIDT participates in Interpol conference on global forestry crime

4 July 2017
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Photo by Interpol. See more photos on the Interpol website.

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CIDT’s work on forest governance and forest monitoring was recognised when it was invited to attend an international conference organised by Interpol. One of the key outcomes of the conference was the establishment of a specialised international working group on forestry crime. CIDT will be part of this working group through the NGOs and Civil Society Stakeholder platform.

The three-day (12-14 June) Global Forestry Crime Conference gathered some 100 representatives from the timber industry, financial institutions, investigative non-governmental organizations, and law enforcement agencies to shape a transnational response against the ‘business’ of forestry crime.

The conference held at INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France highlighted the need for national and international law enforcement agencies to engage with the global network of NGOs, financial institutions, and the timber industry to identify priorities, share best practices and coordinate activities.

Opening the conference, the INTERPOL Executive Director of Police Services Tim Morris said: “Criminal intelligence held by INTERPOL confirms that the same routes and modus operandi used for the illegal trade of timber are also used for the illegal movement of commodities such as drugs and protected wildlife.” Mr Morris added that, “It is important that investigations into forestry crime target the kingpins who control the networks and finance the illegal logging operations as a business. We must acknowledge the extent to which organized criminal networks are involved with corporate crime, and increase transnational, multi-agency cooperation and investigations.”

Over the 3 day conference CIDT representative and Independent Forest Monitoring Expert on the Congo Basin Forest Monitoring project, Richard Nyirenda also held meetings and discussions with other experts from the private sector, international NGOs and national enforcement agencies. The discussions centred around how the Congo Basin Forest Monitoring project could partner with other experts so that it can effectively undertake its monitoring and capacity strengthening activities by focussing on financial flows, corruption, engagement with law enforcement agencies and applying technology based solution in forest monitoring.