November 10, 2011

Reducing the Risks of Illegal HCFC Trade

Filed under: climate, Environmental Crime — inece @ 2:12 am

The most recent UNEP OzonAction Newsletter, Tipping the Balance Towards Climate Protection through the HCFC Phase-Out, presents a selection of articles controlling HCFCs.

Of particular interest to compliance and enforcement practitioners is the article Reducing the Risks of Illegal HCFC Tradeon page 16. The article, written by Tapio Reinikainen of the Finnish Environment Institute and by Heli Lampela of the Finnish National Board of Customs,  looks at the conditions that can be conducive for illegal trading in HCFCs and at the potential solutions, with a focus on capacity building among customs officers.

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October 28, 2011

Report from the Exchange of Nigerian Inspectors to Antwerp and Bremen Ports

Inspector Exchange Participants

From 10-14 October 2011, Nigerian officers visited their colleagues in Antwerp, Belgium, and Bremen, Germany. This exchange was facilitated by INECE in collaboration with the involved authorities in Antwerp, Bremen, and Nigeria.

The objective of the event was to learn mutually about the procedures and practice regarding the inspection of international waste shipments in the ports. Such inspections are important to detect and prevent those shipments that are illegal.

Through a mixture of presentations, discussions and practical demonstrations and exercises, the involved officers got acquainted with several essential approaches and the challenges they present.

Important recurring issues were the following:

(more…)

July 21, 2011

UNODC: Sharing intelligence key to fighting environment crimes

Filed under: Environmental Crime, seaports, UN System — inece @ 2:37 pm

From the UNODC Press Release: 

National governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations met to discuss critical issues related to the illicit trade of commodities such as wildlife, timber, fish and waste at the 11th Asian Regional Partners Forum on Combating Environmental Crime (ARPEC), held 13-14 July 2011 in Bangkok. Organized by the Regional Centre of UNODC in East Asia and the Pacific, this ARPEC meeting focused on the critical role of intelligence-sharing and media management in fighting organized environmental crime in Asian countries.

For the full article, see the UNODC web site.

See also, ARPEC’s Environmental Crime poster.

June 20, 2011

European Commission asks 12 Member States to implement EU rules

Filed under: 9th Conference, Environmental Crime, Europe — inece @ 6:48 pm

The European Commission has given 13 Member States two months to transpose EU rules laying down criminal penalties against sea pollution and other environmental offences. Directive 2008/99/EC on criminal law measures to protect the environment should have been introduced in national law by 26 December 2010. However, 10 countries (Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Romania and Slovenia) have so far failed to do so.

Meanwhile, eight states (Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania and Slovakia) have failed to comply with separate rules on pollution from ships. This Directive (2009/123/EC) was due to be implemented by 16 November 2010. Should the Member States concerned fail to notify the Commission of implementation measures within two months, it may refer the cases to the EU’s Court of Justice.

Directive 2008/99/EC on protecting the environment through criminal law aims to ensure that criminal law measures are available in all Member States to react to serious breaches of EU rules on environmental protection. The Directive includes a list of breaches which have to be considered a criminal offence in all Member States, such as the illegal shipment of waste or the trade in endangered species.

Directive 2009/123/EC (amending Directive 2005/35/EC) on ship-source pollution is part of a set of EU rules to reinforce maritime safety and help prevent pollution from ships. It requires Member States to consider serious and illicit discharges of polluting substances from ships as a criminal offence.

Both directives require Member States to ensure that the criminal offences are punishable with “effective, proportionate and dissuasive criminal penalties.”

Failure by Member States to implement the directives makes it impossible to have common minimum criminal law rules for serious breaches of EU legislation on the protection of the environment and against ship-source pollution. Such EU wide rules are essential to prevent loopholes which could otherwise be exploited by perpetrators of environmental crimes.

Today’s ‘reasoned opinions’ are the second stage in the three-step infringement process.

For more information:

From the EUROPA press release

April 6, 2011

Environment Canada reports record seizure of more than $1 million of HCFC-22

Filed under: Chemicals & Waste, Environmental Crime, North America — inece @ 8:50 pm

(C) 2007 NASA

The company, Gestion Alexis Dionne Inc. and its president, Mr. Alexis Dionne, have accepted responsibility for the illegal importation of approximately 120,000 kg of chlorodifluoromethane (HFCF-22). According to a press release from Environment Canada, the company and its president have been charged with four counts of illegal importation of HFCF-22 between September 2008 and June 2009, in contravention of the Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations, 1998.

To read the full article, click here: http://tinyurl.com/44owfh2

April 4, 2011

Philippines Creates Anti Illegal Logging Task Force

Filed under: Asia, biodiversity, Environmental Crime, Forests — inece @ 7:27 pm

Flickr User Roberto Verzo

To ensure enforcement of Executive Order 23, the Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources regional office in Legazpi City announced the creation of the Regional Anti Illegal Logging Task Force on 23 March 2011.

To view the full story, click here: http://www.pia.gov.ph/?m=1&t=1&id=24041

March 10, 2011

The Philippines: Seized corals point to Punta Engaño officials

Filed under: Asia, biodiversity, Environmental Crime — Tags: — inece @ 3:02 pm

The Cebu Daily News reports:

A Capitol employee inventories corals confiscated during an NBI operation (CDN PHOTO/TONEE DESPOJO)

Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia said a charge of dereliction of duty would be filed against Punta Engaño barangay officials for failing to detect illegally harvested corals found in their area.

Garcia said the confiscated corals, which weighed more than a ton, included “endangered” species.

“The NBI will be filing the charges. You must understand that they will (have to) file charges against the barangay officials for dereliction of duty,” Garcia said.

Last Tuesday, Central Visayas operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) seized a truckload of corals that was abandoned in barangay Punta Engaño in Lapu-Lapu City.

The corals were brought to the Cebu Provincial Capitol and are now kept in the parking lot.

Joefrey Merencillo, agricultural chief III of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro), said the confiscated corals weighed more than 1.4 tons.

BFAR said that at least three species from the batch were among those identified as “endangered.”

See the full article online, Seized corals point to Punta Engaño officials.

March 8, 2011

Canada Reports Record Seizure of Illegally Imported Ozone Depleting Substances

Filed under: Chemicals & Waste, Environmental Crime, North America — Tags: , — inece @ 2:10 pm

From the Environment Canada Press Release:

Following an investigation conducted by Environment Canada officers, the company Gestion Alexis Dionne Inc. and its president, Mr. Alexis Dionne, have accepted responsibility for the illegal importation of approximately 120,000 kg of chlorodifluoromethane (HFCF-22), a gas used in the refrigeration industry.

The company and its president have been charged with four counts of illegal importation of HFCF-22 between September 2008 and June 2009, in contravention of the Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations,1998.

With the agreement of the Attorney General of Canada, they have signed on March 2, 2011, an Environmental Protection Alternative Measures Agreement (EPAM) as provided under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

The charges against company Gestion Alexis Dionne Inc. and its president, Mr. Alexis Dionne, follow an investigation conducted by Environment Canada officers in 2009 at a warehouse located in Saint-Jérôme, Québec, where 5,315 cylinders, or approximately 72,285 kg, of HCFC-22 were discovered and seized. This is a record seizure.

Visit Environment Canada for the full Press Release.

February 11, 2011

Basel Secretariat: Consultancy Announcement and Call for Applications by 28 February 2011

Filed under: Environmental Crime, UN System — inece @ 4:37 pm

The Secretariat of the Basel Convention (SBC) announced a consultancy announcement for the development of a draft instruction manual for the legal profession on the prosecution of illegal traffic.

The SBC  invites interested candidates to submit their candidature by 28 February 2011.

For the Terms of References, see http://www.basel.int/convention/communications/2011-02-11.pdf.

February 9, 2011

Report Estimates Global Environmental Crime at $40 Billion Annually

Filed under: biodiversity, Environmental Crime, Forests — inece @ 10:55 pm

A new report by Global Financial Integrity, entitled “Transnational Crime in the Developing World,” ranks four types of environmental smuggling among the top ten most valuable trade flows in the world.

The illegal traffic in oil, wildlife, timber and fish together are valued at close to $40 billion, according to the report which also outlines the role of transnational crime syndicates and their vast trade networks in facilitating this trade.

For the full report, please visit: http://transcrime.gfip.org/.

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