by muhammad anas | Sep 19, 2023

The International Initiative of Law Enforcement for Climate Change (I2LEC) 4th Global Working Group session, via Zoom, has been organised and hosted by Ministry of Interior, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 22 August 2023, aimed to strengthening the role of international law enforcement community in response to climate change.
The meeting has been attended by the organiser, law enforcement officers across the world and esteemed academicians. DSP Chan Yew Hiok, Police Services Officer I (PSO 1) represented ASEANAPOL Secretariat (AS) for this working group session.
The virtual working group session commences with the organiser, Lt. Col. Dana Humaid, Director General of International Affairs Bureau, UAE Ministry of Interior giving his opening remarks and welcoming a total of thirty participants to attend the session. This is then followed by Major Hamad Khatir, Director of Operations Department, UAE Ministry of Interior recapping the previous discussions of I2LEC. Among one of the pivotal concerns raised is what are the roles of law enforcement officers could take when faced with crimes against the environment.
The subsequent session continues with Professor Rohan Gunaratna, Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore and A. Adeeb A.C. Shaheed, Associate Research Fellow, Indo-Pacific Centre, Singapore delivering his presentation entitled, ‘The role of law enforcement in the face of climate change’.
Among the areas presented are as follows: -
i. What are crimes against the environment, ranging from large scale industrial pollution to illegal deforestation, and the emission of greenhouse gases in destroying the ecosystems;
ii. Types of crimes against the environment covering, crimes affecting the coastal and marine ecosystems, forest-related crime, and waste trafficking;
iii. Key challenges for law enforcement officers, comprising of point of crime occurrences involving different legal jurisdictions, lack of internationally enforceable legislation, and the low numbers of criminal proceedings taken against the perpetrators, lack of expertise and capability within law enforcement agencies, and lack of a clear definition to bring the impunity and powerful perpetrators to face the criminal justice system.
iv. The role of civil society, namely, to put pressure on the governments and making corporations accountable, raising awareness campaigns and the importance of addressing crimes against the environment;
v. Bringing together nations and academicians to a unified platform and providing support to law enforcement agencies across the borders in preventing crimes against the environment.
The meeting ended with some concluding comments that crimes against environment pose a serious threat to the environment and it is very essential for law enforcement officers to play their role in protecting the environment. More importantly, crimes against the environment warrant the governments, civil societies, and academicians to step up their efforts in protecting mother nature.