INTERPOL and Environment Canada have signed an agreement to boost the capacity of wildlife law enforcement around the world by sharing customized wildlife officer training courses on the illegal trade in endangered species, with a particular focus on Africa.
Environment Canada has developed training programmes for INTERPOL that cover topics including law enforcement theory, human rights, inspections, search and seizure, intelligence gathering, investigations and prosecutions. Each programme begins with a pre-course study package followed by an intense six day classroom session and concludes with an on-the-ground police operation.
“The illegal trade in endangered species is a worldwide problem,” said Peter Kent, Canada’s Minister of the Environment. “By sharing Canadian expertise with INTERPOL, we help keep important species like rhinoceroses and elephants alive in their range states, which prevents ivory and other products from being smuggled to market countries.”
“With training one of INTERPOL’s priority areas in helping our 190 member countries and the importance of assisting law enforcement in tackling the global issue of wildlife crime, this agreement with Environment Canada will help provide worldwide results,” said Dale Sheehan, head of INTERPOL’s Training and Capacity Building unit.
Through the agreement, Environment Canada will provide INTERPOL with both English and French versions of the training courses, to help build law enforcement capacity in Africa and all of INTERPOL’s 190 member countries. A pilot training course was delivered by INTERPOL to officers from 11 African countries in Gaborone, Botswana in 2011.