UNEP awards enforcement officers, authorities from Asia-Pacific region

May 21, 2015 4:35 am 

BANGKOK, May 20 — The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) awarded Wednesday for 13 enforcement officers and authorities from Asia-Pacific region for their efforts in fighting illegal wildlife trade, chemicals and hazardous waste.

Five enforcement officers and eight enforcement authorities, hailing from Cambodia, China, India, the Philippines, Thailand, Tonga, and Vietnam are the first recipients of the Asia Environmental Enforcement Award (AEEA).

"Environment crime undermines sustainable development. It is not only a threat to species, to habitats and to ecosystems, but also to human health, livelihoods and national economies. Enforcement action and efforts need to be recognized and awarded," said Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director and UN Under-Secretary- General in the award ceremony at the UN conference center in Bangkok.

Wang Liang, working for the World Customs Organization Regional Intelligence Liaison Office for Asia and the Pacific, was given the award for his role in several successful regional and global enforcement operations which led to the seizure of thousands of tons of illegal hazardous waste, used vehicle parts and tires, textiles as well as e-waste.

"china itself is the victim and destination of household garbage and electricity waste from some developed countries. Besides establishing respectively complete legal system, china has been playing a more active role in the regional and multilateral cooperation to exchange the information about the import of the waste with other countries and to tackle illegal trade of chemicals and waste," Wang told Xinhua.

Chinese Nanjing Customs District, one of the authorities awardees, was commented for eradicating 31 criminal syndicates involving in the illegal waste trade, arresting over 150 suspects and seizing more than 200,000 tons of waste.

All those awardees have confiscated nearly 69 million U.S. dollars in illegal contraband, logs and wood charcoal and seized nearly 300,000 tons of hazardous waste, wildlife products and timber. Investigations into these crimes have resulted in nearly 40 million dollars in fines and more than 100 million dollars in frozen assets. (PNA/Xinhua)

LAM/RSM

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