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UNEP promotes compliance and enforcement for multilateral environmental agreements and action against environmental crime

Geneva, 16 December 1999 - Over 100 Experts from 60 countries, international organizations and non-governmental organizations participated in a three-day preparatory session of the Working Group of Experts on Enforcement and Implementation of Environmental Conventions, which ended here yesterday. The meeting was held under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme.

"International environmental regulation has evolved more rapidly than the ability of many countries to implement and enforce it", said UNEP Executive Director Klaus Topfer. "Making sure that the almost 200 environmental agreements already in existence are being effectively implemented must be a major priority."

The Working Group is exploring how to improve compliance with and enforcement of environmental conventions and ways of combating environmental crime. To strengthen compliance, the Group is focusing on reporting, information exchange and capacity building.

Important measures include also promoting education and public awareness. The Governments and international community can further promote effective national enforcement and international cooperation and coordination in combating environment crime through the enforcement of existing laws for implementing MEAs and finding means for improving cooperation and coordination in addressing illegal activity with international implications.

The next session of the Working Group will be held in May 2000 and will consider two sets of guidelines: one on Compliance with MEAs, and the second on Effective National Environmental Enforcement and International Cooperation and Coordination in Combating Environmental Crime.

For more information, please contact:
Michael Williams,
United Nations Environment Programme,
Information Unit for Conventions (UNEP/IUC),
Geneva Executive Center,
C.P. 356, 1219 Chatelaine, Switzerland,
Voice: (+41 22) 917 8242/8244/8196; Fax: (+41 22) 797 3464;

In Nairobi, please contact:
Tore J. Brevik,
UNEP Spokesman and Director of Communications and Public Information,
P.O. Box 30552, Nairobi,
Tel.: (254-2) 623292; Fax: 623692;

UNEP Information Note 1999/43

Thursday 16 Dec 1999
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