THE PROJECT

The main objective of the project is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of actions aimed at combating environmental crimes in Portugal and Spain, especially those committed against Wildlife.

WHY?

A large number of species of wildlife, including birds in Annex I of the Birds Directive and considered by the Ornis Committee as to be priority financed by Life+ Program, suffer in Spain and Portugal the loss of thousands of specimens due to criminal acts such as shooting, intentional poisoning, illegal trafficking or the destruction of their habitat. Nowadays most of these actions enjoy of a high level of impunity, with little resolution of cases, low prosecution and sentencing in criminal proceedings, which poses a threat to the recovery of their populations.

 

This situation indicates, moreover, the lack of sensitivity and knowledge of certain sectors of society about the value of Europe’s natural heritage and the importance of its conservation. This situation could be corrected through the implementation of measures promoting better compliance with environmental legislation and the improvement of investigation, information and awareness on criminal actions and their impact on the environment.

OBJECTIVES

1

Increase the exchange of knowhow and best practices among officers and bodies responsible for the prevention, investigation, prosecution and resolution of environmental crimes.

2

Ensure and strengthen adequate compliance and enforcement of environmental and criminal law as a tool for environmental protection.

3

Prevent environmental crime, raise awareness and promote cultural changes to generate more respectful of wildlife environments.

4

Improve the conservation status of species and habitats of community interest by reducing mortality by criminal actions.

5

Reduce impunity in the commission of crimes by shooting, habitat destruction, poisoning and illegal trafficking of priority species and increase the determination of criminal responsibility for the events.

6

Increase awareness about the dimension of environmental crimes, criminal motivation and effectiveness of criminal law in the protection of species of Community interest.

ACTIONS

1

Study on the dissuasive, effective and proportionate nature of the penalties imposed in Spain for crimes against the environment and its adaptation to Directive 2008/99/EC.

2

European Workshop on police investigation of crimes against priority bird species and its habitat destruction.

3

Report on wildlife species valuation and proposal of regulation.

4

Origin and motivations of crimes against wildlife and habitat destruction.

5

Legal actions against wildlife crimes.

6

Creating a national database to collect data on non natural wildlife mortality.

7

Manual on police investigation of crimes against wildlife and protocols for action and coordination of the national and EU law enforcement officials in cases of non-natural mortality of priority species.

8

Training and sensitization of legal professionals in charge of enforcement of environmental and penal legislation.

9

Training of police officers in the action against environmental crimes.

10

Specific operations for reducing wildlife crimes and habitat destruction and clarification of criminal responsibility in these types of cases.

11

Creation of a specialized Central Intelligence Office in the Spanish Guardia Civil.

EXPECTED RESULTS

  • Train and provide appropriate means sufficient for national and EU law enforcement officials and authorities for investigation of crimes against wildlife and habitat destruction.
  • Involve, raise awareness and improve knowledge of the sectors concerned (hunters, farmers, government agencies, non- governmental organizations, law enforcement, etc.) and society in general on the impact of crimes against priority species and environmental and social value of wildlife in Portugal and Spain.
  • Development of policy proposals for improving the implementation of Directive 2008/99/EC for the protection of the environment through criminal law and the civil liability for criminal activities.
  • Centralize in a national database all available information on non-natural mortality of wildlife in Portugal and Spain.
  • Improving knowledge about criminal motivation, the impact of crimes against wildlife and their habitats, the police investigation and the effectiveness of criminal law to protect priority species and their habitats.
  • To disseminate and transfer the results of the project to several Member States and outside the EU.
  • Establish protocols and mechanisms for coordination, exchange of information and experiences among different national and the rest of EU police forces.
  • Evaluation of results and adequacy of actions to established objectives, quantifying the impact of the project.

PARTNERS AND CO-FINANCERS

SEO/BirdLife is the coordinating partner of the project; and the Service for the Protection of Nature (Seprona) of the Guardia Civil, the Junta de Andalucía and the Portuguese Society for or Study of Birds (SPEA) are beneficiary partners.

COORDINATING PARTNER
SEO BIRDLIFE

Sociedad Española de Ornitología

BENEFICIARY PARTNERS
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JUNTA DE ANDALUCÍA

Regional Ministry of Environment and Land Management

03-spea
SPEA

Portuguese Society for or Study of Birds

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SEPRONA

Nature protection service. General Directorate of the Guardia Civil

The project has a budget of € 1,974,932, of which the European Commission finances 60%, through the Life Program. In addition, it has the co-financing of:

CONFINANCERS
05-gobierno-canarias
GOBIERNO DE CANARIAS

Dirección General de Protección de la Naturaleza

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GENERALITAT VALENCIANA

Conselleria de Agricultura, Medio Ambiente, Cambio Climático y Desarrollo Rural

07-miteco
MITECO

Ministerio para la transición ecológica

(Ministry for the ecological transition)