Initiative in East Africa Launched to Address Illegal Logging and Timber Trade
26 June 2014: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda announced, at the first UN Environment Assembly (UNEA), an initiative to address the illegal timber trade originating from East Africa, recognizing also that illegal logging must be mitigated, and forests managed sustainably, in order to reduce emissions from forest loss.
Under the 'East Africa Initiative on Illegal Timber Trade and REDD+,' the three countries intend to, in cooperation with INTERPOL and other UN agencies, prevent illegal logging by strengthening law enforcement and forest governance, something called for in the REDD+ readiness, plans and strategies of all three countries. The initiative will offer an opportunity to build on each country's experiences combating the illegal timber trade, including understanding its components, from economic drivers, and corruption, to law enforcement, customs control and monitoring.
Norway announced its support for this initiative, which will also benefit from the participation of INTERPOL, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Yury Fedotov, Executive Director, UNODC, stressed that wildlife and forest crime demands a global solution that offers international cooperation. David Higgins, INTERPOL, highlighted his commitment to developing and maintaining networks of cooperation. [UNEP News] [INTERPOL News]