ROCB A/P joined partners to discuss Customs capacity building to contend with environmental crime
15 January 2015, Bangkok, Thailand
At the invitation of the UNEP, Mr. Kazunari Igarashi, Head of the ROCB A/P, attended the 16th Meeting of Asia Partners Forum on Combating Environmental Crime (ARPEC) on 15 January 2015 at the UN Convention Center in Bangkok, Thailand. There were 26 representatives at the meeting from the UNEP’s partner organizations and entities, including UNODC, WWF and Freeland foundation.
ARPEC was launched 9 years ago in the wake of the heightened political interest in environmental crimes, such as illicit trafficking in wildlife, ozone depleting substances, hazardous wastes, and each meeting discusses specific themes on environmental crimes. This meeting’s theme was “addressing environmental crime applying anti-money laundering efforts.”
Asession was dedicated to information sharing on the initiatives taken by partner organizations/entities in tackling environmental crimes. Throughout the meeting, Customs role was often referred which reflects the nature of environmental crime, especially exploitation of wildlife, which often involves cross-border movement of commodities (wildlife, ODS, etc.). Mr. Igarashi briefed the group on the WCO’s environment programs, including the Green Customs Initiatives and the ENVIRONET, as well as planned regional training sessions in countering environmental crime, such as the WCO Regional Workshop on Risk Management against Environmental Crime to be co-organized with the UNEP in April 2015 in Malaysia. He also called for participants continued support for Customs capacity building to complement the strengths of respective partners in this regard.