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ICCWC toolkit to boost enforcement of PH environmental laws

May 30, 2022 Cory Martinez 256 views

THE enforcement of environmental laws will now be further boosted with the launching of the International Consortium on Combatting Wildlife and Forest Crime’s analytical toolkit.

This was disclosed by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Jim O. Sampulna as he commended the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) for launching the toolkit which can help on a technical review process of the current response to wildlife and forest crimes in the Philippines.

Sampulna said the Wildlife and Forest Crime Analytic Toolkit will combat the unlawful and “lucrative” industry of illegal wildlife trade in the Philippines, often a source and transshipment point of wildlife and wildlife by-products.

He pointed out that illegal trading is valued at around US$50 billion per year, thus “allowing perpetrators to invest in measures that will enable them to escape detection, investigation, and prosecution.”

“We, as enforcers of environmental laws, need all the help that we can get. This is where the International Consortium on Combatting Wildlife and Forest Crime analytic toolkit can bridge the gap,” he added.

Sampulna highlighted the role of international support to the Philippine government in enforcing laws and prosecuting culprits.

He added that with the help of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the toolkit will allow the DENR to understand better the preventive and criminal justice system’s response to wildlife and forest crime.

Sampulna also said that concerned agencies can jointly identify systematic issues and agree on evidence-based recommendations in response to the legislative, enforcement, prosecution, and judiciary facets of wildlife trade through the toolkit.

He also urged other government officials to battle the multimillion illegal business as environmental crimes severely damage critical ecosystems and exacerbate poverty.

“To protect people and the planet in line with the sustainable development goals and build back better from the COVID-19 crisis, we have to combat environmental crimes, including the illegal trafficking of wild flora and fauna,” said Sampulna.

UNODC-Environment Team Chief Jorge Rios, United States Embassy for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Director Kelia Cummins, and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero attended the recent launching of the toolkit.