June 20th, 2011 Whistler, Canada
It is with great pleasure that we announce the launching of the Global Network of Prosecutors and General Attorneys. This took place during the 9th International Conference on Environmental Compliance and Enforcement, 20-24 June 2011 in British Columbia, Canada.
This Global Network is a clear outcome of the workplan developed by the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law Specialist Group for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (ECE), chaired by Dr. Kenneth Markowitz, which is based on the principle that environmental compliance and enforcement is a collective effort, both nationally and internationally.
This initiative is being carried out in cooperation with the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE) and will provide capacity building and other inputs to the United Nations Rio + 20 process scheduled for late Spring of 2012 in Brazil. Representatives from the Latin-American Network of Prosecutors participated in the process and made valuable contributions to give form to this Network.
The Network will emphasize activities that ensure compliance with legal protections for flora and fauna, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and habitats. Potential specific areas of focus include fish, forest and wetlands. The Network is to form and provide prosecutors and attorneys general that are educated on environmental compliance and enforce ment issues and possess the skills and tools, relative to their legal system and culture, to successfully prosecute environmental crimes.
As Ms. Sheila Abed stated during the launching of the Network, non-compliance with environmental laws negatively impact our climate system, undermines the global economy, and threatens sustainable livelihoods. The role prosecutors play in assuring compliance with legal protections for flora and fauna, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and habitats is crucial, and the Network plays a vital role in this.
The Network, which aims at connecting not only prosecutors and general attorneys around the globe but also linking existing networks, has established a set of short and long term goals which will help to accomplish its main objective; to ensure environmental compliance and enforcement.
The Specialist Group has received some additional funding to support the development of the Network, and will continue to look for opportunities to fund the Networks long-term growth and impacts.
We look forward to engaging you and your organizations in this initiative, which intends to attain real results by acting as an enabler of environmental compliance and enforcement and at the same time, as a tool that will help us move ethics toward common values.