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World Class Regulator: Developing a Joint Environment Canada / INTERPOL Environmental Forensics Investigations Manual

2012-06-15

Photo: Richard Strub taking information from Forensics Manual working group | © ECEnvironment Canada’s role as a World Class Regulator was confirmed and promoted at the recent INTERPOL 17th Pollution Crimes Working Group Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand. A key element of the meeting was developing the first INTERPOL manual on basic environmental forensics. Environment Canada’s ‘Inspectors Manual’ was used as a foundational document for this project. A strategy and format for the INTERPOL / Environment Canada manual, developed by Peter Krahn and Richard Strub of Environment Canada, was approved upon a vote by the INTERPOL technical committee in Denver in May 2011. Subsequently, Peter and Richard were appointed Technical Project Leader and scientific authority on the analytical protocols, respectively, and developed the detailed strategy over 2011 to 2012. At the Bangkok meeting, they organized delegates from 60 countries into teams to review and update the current draft of the manual. This Pollution Crime Forensics Manual project comes at a time when most environmental forensics laboratories around the world perform their highly skilled science in isolation from their international colleagues.

Many developing countries have limited resources and capacity for environmental crime forensics, and Environment Canada showed leadership in using science-based evidence, and Photo: Peter Krahn giving instructions to the group of INTERPOL delegates | © ECpromoted their techniques for developing countries. These efforts will assist developing countries in defining their own environmental forensics programs, and lead to improvements in national and international environmental law enforcement, transparency within the international community, and adaptability for a systematic regulatory approach.

Detailed comments and input from the working groups were collected and compiled in Bangkok. A revised draft of the manual will be reviewed by key members of the project. Detailed editing will include delegates from countries that may receive a translation of the manual (in English, French, Spanish, or Arabic). Final publication is anticipated for May, 2013.

Contacts: Peter K. Krahn P. Eng., 604-666-8425, Enforcement Branch; Richard Strub, 604-903-4422, Science and Technology Branch