INTERPOL Secretary General
Safeguarding our planet and addressing climate change are the great challenges of our time. Biodiversity is perhaps our most valuable resource. It sustains and enriches life on Earth. Like anything of value, biodiversity and particularly endangered species are too often exploited by criminals in the pursuit of profit. Environmental crime is one of the world's most lucrative criminal activities.
It is transnational, converging with and fueling other crimes such as corruption, fraud and money laundering. CITES plays a critical role in our fight against wildlife and timber trafficking. Our work together in the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime has contributed to international investigations spanning 120 countries. INTERPOL's global operations against trafficking in CITES listed specimen have led to thousands of seizures and hundreds of arrests. But there is much more to be done.
I believe CITES is more essential now than at any time in its 50-year history. As Interpol marks its own 100-year anniversary this year, I reaffirm our commitment to stand with CITES to combat environmental crime and protect our planet.