Interpol Gives Ecomessage Award to Kenya for Fighting Wildlife Crime

Monday, July 18, 2005
Yarmouth Port, Mass.
Interpol has chosen the Government of Kenya as the first-ever recipient of the Interpol Ecomessage Award.
Ecomessage, a new Interpol reporting system designed in collaboration with IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare – www.ifaw.org), allows real-time access to wildlife crime information among law enforcement agencies worldwide. Ecomessage ensures critical data is transmitted efficiently to the Interpol General Secretariat in Lyon, France.

“Illegal wildlife trade now touches every continent in the world and Interpol officers are the frontline in the battle to save endangered species from this illegal market.  IFAW is proud to be working with these brave officers around the world,” said Fred O’Regan, President and CEO of IFAW. “We congratulate Interpol on this important new initiative and look forward to cooperating to save our planet’s species in the months and years ahead.”

IFAW, which helped develop Ecomessage, pledged up to US$30,000 in training and law enforcement equipment to the Ecomessage award winner. The award recognizes organizations which effectively contribute to the international fight against criminals who traffic in protected wildlife.

Interpol and IFAW distributed an Ecomessage pack in Interpol’s four working languages—Arabic, English, French and Spanish—to all Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Management Authorities and selected wildlife law enforcement agencies worldwide.

“Interpol is pleased to honor our deserving colleagues for demonstrating how the new Ecomessage initiative helps combat the burgeoning industry in wildlife crime,” said Interpol President Jackie Selebi. “Quickly routing critical crime-related data to the right agencies around the world will help officers stop this illegal trade which kills thousands of endangered animals each year and causes needless suffering for countless more.  Interpol is pleased to work with IFAW and we look forward to continued progress in this vital effort.”

About Interpol
Interpol is the largest international police organization in the world. It was set up in 1923 to facilitate cross-border criminal police cooperation and today has 182 member countries spread over five continents. It supports and assists all organizations, authorities and services whose mission is to prevent or combat international crime.

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