Cameroon, Hong Kong, China win Interpol award for their efforts in fighting wildlife crime

Thursday, June 7, 2007
The Hague, The Netherlands
Representatives from wildlife enforcement agencies in Cameroon and Hong Kong, China were honored this evening by Interpol in recognition of the extraordinary level of cooperation that they provided in the investigation surrounding the 3,900 kg cache of ivory smuggled out of Cameroon and seized in Hong Kong in May 2006.
Interpol’s Ecomessage Award comes with a prize sponsored by IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare - www.ifaw.org) valued at US$30,000.
 
“By recognizing Cameroon and Hong Kong, Province of China as the 2007 award recipients, Interpol wishes to acknowledge that in utilizing the Ecomessage system, these agencies were directly responsible for the dismantling of a significant organizational structure perpetrating the illegal trafficking of large amounts of raw ivory from Africa to Southeast Asia,” said Peter Younger, Program Manager for the Interpol Wildlife Crime program. “Their willingness to contribute information and quantifiable data has enabled the Interpol General Secretariat to conduct an analysis  that revealed the depth and breadth of this organizational structure, information which will be invaluable to a number of member countries in further enforcement work to combat the illegal trade in ivory.”
 
The award was presented at an official reception held by Germany in The Hague, in its capacity as current President of the European Union and on the occasion of the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Ecomessage was created by Interpol in the 1990s as a reporting system to improve sharing of wildlife crime information among international wildlife law enforcement agencies. It was designed to facilitate the efficient transmission of critical data to the Interpol General Secretariat in Lyon, France.  IFAW’s sponsorship of the Ecomessage Award and its collaboration with Interpol on the development of a guidebook on Ecomessage are provided in recognition of the costs of compliance with the reporting system as well as its significant benefits.

Interpol and IFAW both distribute an Ecomessage packet containing information and instructions on how to report in Interpol’s four working languages - Arabic, English, French and Spanish - to all CITES Management Authorities and selected wildlife law enforcement agencies worldwide.

Kenya, the recipient of the first Ecomessage Award in 2004, applied its prize to an enforcement training program for the agency’s staff.

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