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     Dechen Tsering
Regional Director and Representative for Asia and the Pacific
United Nations Environment Programme
The United Nations Environment Programme extends its best wishes to the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence on its 64th Foundation Day and the release of its Smuggling in India Report 2020-2021.
UNEP is committed to working with Member States to control illegal trade in environmentally sensitive commodities, such as endangered species, ozone-depleting substances, toxic chemicals, and hazardous wastes. The complexity of such environmental crime, which is an extensive and increasingly lucrative business, requires a multi-sectoral response, underpinned by strong enforcement capacity and collaboration across borders.
In 2004, UNEP launched the Green Customs Initiative (GCI) in partnership with the secretariats of relevant trade related multilateral environmental agreements, Interpol, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, United Nations Office on Drug and Crime and the World Customs Organization. GCI aims to enhance the capacity of customs and other relevant border control officers to facilitate legal trade and to detect and prevent illegal trade in environmentally sensitive commodities.
In India, UNEP has been working with the Ozone Cell, Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change to train customs and other frontline enforcement agencies, and to conduct border dialogues with countries of the region to combat illegal trade in ozone depleting substances. UNEP has also partnered with the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau and TRAFFIC India to enhance awareness on wildlife trafficking and to strengthen the capacity of enforcement agencies to detect and control illegal wildlife trade through airports.
I congratulate DRI for its continued efforts in tackling smuggling and am happy to note that DRI received UNEP’s Asia Environmental Enforcement Award in 2015, which recognizes and celebrates excellence in combating transboundary environmental crime.
I look forward to continuing the longstanding association between UNEP and DRI in addressing environmental crime.
Dechen Tsering

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