Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:1PM
Interpol and the United Nations have decided to launch an initiative to tackle global forest crime targeting those involved in illegal logging and timber trafficking. Project Leaf will also support enforcement agencies in countries with the biggest forest crime problems, the state-funded BBC reported. "Project leaf will ensure these global laws [international legislation to protect forests and curtail illegal logging] are supported by global enforcement and that the criminals responsible are brought to justice - no matter their location, movements or resources," said Interpol's Environmental Crime Program manager David Higgins. Some estimates say more than a quarter of the global population relies on forests for their livelihoods, fuel, food and medicines. Funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, Project leaf (Law Enforcement Assistance for Forests) is a partnership between the UN Environment Program (Unep) and Interpol. According to the Interpol, "collusive corruption and fraud in the forestry sector undermines the rule of law and... significantly hampers efforts to tackle poverty among the world's poorest people." The International Criminal Police Organization added that "coordinated, collaborative and transnational" action would be necessary to create an effective force against criminal activity. TE/TE