Recommendations and next steps
- Relationships with stakeholders are critical – talk to hunters as well as law enforcers; innovate (e.g. using satellite transmitters to detect bird crimes)
- Target specific geographical areas – invest in addressing cultural and historical issues to change attitudes to hunting
- Record and share cases (for example, via the ENPE crimes database)
- Identify and protect the geographical characteristics needed to protect viable breeding colonies of threatened birds
- Include different stakeholders in prevention strategies and investigations
- Importance of signal function of convictions; improve investigations and law enforcement
- Raise awareness, communication, knowledge sharing
- Avoid shortcomings in investigations
- Identification of offenders is crucial
- Using innovative technology for tackling environmental crimes can save valuable time and human resources
- It’s necessary to simplify the administrative procedures when implementing EU environmental directives
- Collaborations with the inspectorates is very important
- Is it time to have a European Environmental Inspectorate?
- Geosites should have a new legal protection status
- Importance of correct investigation of a body or crime scene (by a task force with experts)
- New legislation made things better, but more (wo)manpower is needed
- Should we put an exchange value to nature?
- We need to come up with a clear definition of water crimes
- Knowledge on water crimes needs to be increased (for example, through a database)
- Raise awareness among enforcers and prosecutors about water crimes
- Air pollution is not widely persecuted around Europe; we should share best practices
- Improve action, supervision and educational campaigns regarding the protection and conservation of birds
- We need a complete mindset change in regards to how we think about regulation. Good regulation that is well-enforced helps us to protect the environment and prevent crime
- We should not apologise for regulation, but seek to develop it
What has been achieved and what more can be done?
Harvey Bradshaw, Executive Director for Environment & Business, Environment Agency (United Kingdom)
What did you think?
“I was very excited to be here. It is impressive that so many experts from all over Europe came together to talk to each other. There is so much that we can learn from each other. It was interesting to watch the remote sensing presentations and hear about the use of drones, innovation and new technologies. It’s affirming to have so many different people together who believe in the same thing and have the same purpose. It’s reassuring to know that everyone is dealing with similar issues. We can share with each other, learn from each other and get better and improve things for everybody.”
“I am glad I was invited to attend the conference and also share WWF’s experiences with poaching of large carnivores in Germany. To combat wildlife crime in Germany we are trying to increase public awareness, improve law enforcement and strengthen collaboration with many stakeholders. That is why it was extremely valuable for me to learn what projects, tools and networks to tackle environmental crime already exist and to understand their approaches. What was especially important to me was finding out what ENPE is doing and identifying possible synergies with our work, as well as getting to know the terrific job LIFE Natura Themis has been doing.”
“It was a very well organised event. Quite intense with two days full of sessions, but really worth it. We had the opportunity to share knowledge and experiences with a number of colleagues from different countries and different fields of expertise. I was touched by the interesting presentation from Georgios Sbokos about the impact on environmental prosecution after the EU-IMF structural adjustment plans in Greece. His presentation is relevant for all EU countries that have to deal with new environmental legislation.”
The 2018 protecting ‘Protecting habitats and endangered species in Europe through tackling environmental crime’ conference was coorganised by the European Network of Prosecutors for the Environment (ENPE), the LIFE Natura Themis project, the Water Crimes Group from the European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law (IMPEL) and the LIFE Reason for Hope project.
We are grateful for the support of the EU LIFE programme in our work in this area and acknowledge the contribution made by them to this conference.
This e-zine was produced by Magazine on the Spot.
Concept, copy and coordination: Julie de Graaf
Proofreader: Julia Gorodecky
Videography: Jan Stap
Design: Lisanne Gottenbos