The two-day training underway at the Rwanda National Police (RNP) General Headquarters in Kacyiru was officially opened by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Emmanuel K. Gasana.
The joint exercises that include 80 judicial police officers and 20 reservists looks to enhance their understanding on environmental matters, laws and investigation of related crimes.
It falls under the existing framework between RNP and Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA) to fight all sorts of environmental crimes.
The IGP noted that effective response to challenges to human security and eliminating threats to environment necessitated collective approach at all levels.
He further said that environment protection is a crosscutting matter adding that if not tackled at an early stage can greatly threaten human security.
“Protection of the environment is vital to the country’s development; always remain vigilant to ensure that pollution of any nature is avoided, and this is a critical role that requires understanding to fight threats like man made pollution and other crimes,” said IGP Gasana.
He noted that “some human activities are endangering the very survival of the environment on which we live” and called for sustainable management of natural resources.
He cited poor and hazardous extraction of minerals and poor garbage disposal, littering habits that should be shunned and fought by all stakeholders.
The Police Chief challenged participants to strictly follow the environment protection laws and hold accountable whoever is involved.
RNP established an Environmental Protection Unit (EPU) which has been instrumental in enforcing the law, preservation of environment through environmental education, practical interpretation of the environmental laws to citizens and engaging in the public environment management awareness campaign.
The IGP also hinted on the issue of corruption, warning of dire consequences to any person either in or outside the force, that will be caught emphasing the zero stance approach against the vice.