UNEP Current Affairs
United Nations Environment Program has selected Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) and its enforcement officer RS Sharath for 2018 Asia Environmental Enforcement Awards. They were selected under organization and individual categories respectively for their outstanding contributions in combating the trans-boundary environmental crimes. The 2018 Awards will be given by UNEP with UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Office on Drugs and Crime, INTERPOL (UNODC), USAID, Freeland Foundation, and Government of Sweden.
Asia Environmental Enforcement Awards
The awards publicly recognize and celebrate excellence in enforcement by government officials and institutions/teams combating transboundary environmental crime in Asia. They are given to outstanding individuals and/or government organizations and teams that demonstrate excellence and leadership in enforcement of national laws to combat transboundary environmental crime. The thematic scope of these awards covers any transboundary environmental crimes, including illegal trade in wildlife and illegal trade in chemicals or waste.
Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB)
WCCB is statutory multi-disciplinary body under Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to combat organized wildlife crime in the country. It was established in June 2007 by amending Wildlife (Protection) Act (WLPA), 1972, a special Act to protect wildlife and fauna in the country.
Under Section 38 (Z) of WLPA, 1972, it is mandated to collect and collate intelligence related to organized wildlife crime and disseminate it to state and other enforcement agencies for immediate action. It assists foreign authorities and international organization concerned to facilitate co-ordination and universal action for wildlife crime control.
It is tasked with capacity building of wildlife crime enforcement agencies for scientific and professional investigation into wildlife crimes and assist states to ensure success in wildlife crimes prosecutions. It advises Union Government on issues relating to wildlife crimes having national and international ramifications, relevant policy and laws.
It also assists and advises the Customs authorities in inspection of the consignments of flora & fauna as per the provisions of Wild Life Protection Act, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and EXIM Policy governing such an item.
Note: This is second time in row that WCCB is awarded by UN Environment. Last yearit was awarded for its efforts in conducting and coordinating species-specific wildlife enforcement operation codenamed ‘Operation Save Kurma’. The operation is aimed at combating proliferating illegal trade of live turtles and its parts from the country to destinations abroad.
Tanzanian national Joyce Msuya was appointed as acting Executive Director of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) following resignation of the executive director Erik Solheim. Solheim had quit in wake of internal audit report accused of rule-breaking UNEP. The report has accused him of gobbling up $500,000 in unnecessary and budgeted travel expenses in just 22 months.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
UNEP is voice for environment within the United Nations system. It was founded as result of United Nations Conference on Human Environment in June 1972. It is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. UNEP also has six regional offices and various country offices.
It is the leading global environmental authority that sets global environmental agenda, promotes coherent implementation of environmental dimension of sustainable development within United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.
It acts as catalyst, advocate, educator and facilitator to promote wise use and sustainable development of global environment. It works with wide range of partners, including UN entities, international organizations, national governments, non-governmental organizations, private sector and civil society.