Canada participates in largest-ever international enforcement operation to crack down on wildlife crime
“The Government of Canada is proud to join forces with our partners on the world stage in the global fight against wildlife crime. Our nature is under threat and human activity is a driving factor. It’s through initiatives like Operation Thunderball and close collaboration with organizations like INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization that we will collectively and effectively ensure the protection and conservation of our world’s wildlife.”
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“Wildlife crime not only strips our environment of its resources, it also has an impact through the associated violence, money laundering and fraud. Operations like Thunderball are concrete actions targeting the transnational crime networks profiting from these illicit activities. We will continue our efforts with our partners to ensure that there are consequences for criminals who steal from our environment.”
– Jürgen Stock, INTERPOL Secretary General
“As clearly illustrated by the results of Operation Thunderball, close cooperation at international and national levels to combat wildlife crime must never be underestimated. Such initiatives will be replicated to raise awareness within the global law enforcement community on the gravity of global wildlife crime and to better coordinate cross-agency efforts, including the engagement of civil society groups to detect and deter wildlife criminal networks.
– Kunio Mikuriya, World Customs Organization Secretary General
Currently, global wildlife crime—including poaching, smuggling, and trafficking of animals and plants—is estimated by the United Nations Environment Programme and INTERPOL to be worth over US$155 billion per year, making it the world’s fourth most lucrative form of crime.
The illegal wildlife trade is typically run by criminal networks with wide, international reach, whose activities threaten protected wildlife species, affect vulnerable communities, and can undermine national economies.
Coordinated jointly by INTERPOL’s Environment Security Programme and the WCO Environment Programme, Operation Thunderball is the third in the “Thunder” series, following Thunderbird in 2017 and Thunderstorm in 2018.
Environment and Climate Change Canada enforces federal wildlife legislation that protects plant and animal species, particularly in interprovincial and international trade. Provinces and territories manage conservation and regulate the harvest of wildlife in their jurisdictions.
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)
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