The Lusaka Agreement Task Force [LATF] participated in the Environmental Crime Workshop organized by the East African Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement [EANECE] held in Mombasa, Kenya from 12th to 13th April 2012. The workshop brought together 20 participants from various law enforcement agencies in Kenya including Police, INTERPOL NCB, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Wildlife Service, Nairobi City Council and the National Environmental Management Authority.
The workshop explored challenges faced by various institutions in addressing environmental crime in Kenya. Specifically, the participants discussed the nature, extent and trends of environmental crimes and observed that inadequate resources (human and financial), lack of awareness of the stakeholders, corruption, climate change and variability, inadequate cooperation among the agencies were the main challenges in addressing environmental crime.
The participants made recommendations for enhanced cooperation in the areas of information sharing, environmental crime investigations and prosecution, promotion of climate change adaptability and awareness campaigns. The LATF representative gave an overview on the Lusaka Agreement and outlined the mandate, functions as well as activities of LATF and shared regional experiences on environmental crime.
LATF congratulates EANECE for the initiative and encourages other organizations to emulate them in intensifying interagency collaboration in fighting environmental crime in Kenya and the region at large. Transnational wildlife crime requires multilateral solutions to be tackled effectively. In this respect, the Lusaka Agreement continues to be the most appropriate working mechanism for promoting interstate and interagency cooperation towards curtailing this vice in the African region. Kenya being an active member state implementing the Lusaka Agreement and its support for such fora demonstrates renewed hope that the current growing trends of environmental crime will be reversed.