Tonga Ministry of Revenue and Customs, Tonga (Organization) won for its contributing significantly to the country’s global commitment to phasing out ozone-depleting substances, including the seizure of 30 cylinders of ozone-depleting Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) R-22 that were illegally imported into Tonga.
AEEA is one of the activities in cooperation with OzonAction Compliance Assistance Programme under the Regional Enforcement Network for Chemicals and Waste, a project funded by Swedish Sida. The first ceremony of AEEA was held back-to-back with the Asia-Pacific Roundtable on Environmental Rule of Law for Sustainable Development during the First Forum of Ministers and Environment Authorities of Asia Pacific.
The winners, hailing from Cambodia, China, India, Philippines, Thailand, Tonga, and Viet Nam, were awarded for their efforts in confiscating nearly US$69 million in illegal contraband, logs and wood charcoal and seizures of nearly 300,000 tons of hazardous waste, wildlife products and timber like the Indian Red Sanders, a wood popularly used for idols and wooden artifacts. Investigations into these crimes have resulted in nearly US$40 million in fines and more than US$100 million in frozen assets.