COUNTERING ILLEGAL LOGGING, POACHING AND TRADE
LAW ENFORCEMENT CAPACITY BUILDING
INTERPOL has become active in developing programmes for supporting law enforcement of wildlife crime. Project OASIS (Operational Assistance, Services and Infrastructure Support) represents a new vision and logical extension of INTERPOL’s role in establishing a global platform for Police cooperation.
The approach focuses on assisting those regions of the world that lack the resources to respond to the challenges of transna- tional crime. OASIS is all about empowering police through three main functions: Capacity building – providing the best possible training to police at all levels thereby establishing a highly skilled and dynamic workforce. Infrastructure – ensuring that police forces have all the nec- essary tools and technology to communicate securely in real time via INTERPOL’s network, and to access its databases. Operations – supporting major regional operations and pro- viding analytical training in specialized crime areas. Support will be targeted and tangible and the results long-lasting.
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This tiered approach of service delivery enables the regions to develop their own sustainable ways of working. It is INTER- POL’s concept for global policing in the 21st century and as an integrated strategy it is designed to deploy global counter crime initiatives to our 186 member countries thereby compliment- ing their national and regional efforts.
Since early 2008 INTERPOL has implemented Project OASIS, as a pilot program, in sub-Saharan Africa. The program is ex- pected to run for a period of four years, ending December 2011.
Funding for this project has been provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany.
In recognition that much wildlife crime law enforcement is un- dertaken by law enforcement agencies that are not associated with a countries national police, the three core functions of this program are therefore extended to these agencies.
Project OASIS for Africa, has been implemented to assist that regions police, as outlined above, however in recognition of the significance of wildlife crime and its effects in that region, and globally, a significant proportion of the program deals ex- clusively with wildlife crime issues particularly in the areas of capacity building and operational support. This effort, of neces- sity, entails working closely with ‘non-police’ law enforcement agencies such as: Wildlife services.
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CITES management authorities. Customs. Park Rangers.
Immigration and/or Security Services. Non Government Organizations (NGO’s), particularly in support or capacity building initiatives.
These tend to be the principle organizations responsible for law enforcement in this area of crime. Experience has indicated that the OASIS model could be easily adapted to other regions, either in its entirety or specifically tailored to a specific crime type (wild- life) and / or non police wildlife agencies, the principle differ- ences being staff numbers, expertise and budget requirements.