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Themis National Trainings in 2014

In early 2014, each member country of the Themis Network held one national training in the local language focusing on two main issues: tackling environmental crimes and improving institutional cooperation for better law enforcement. In general, the trainings sought to contribute to capacity building at national level and to improve exchanges of information, experience and knowledge between national authorities, enforcement agencies and other relevant bodies. Within this framework, each country narrowed the scope of the training down to those issues that the national authorities regarded as most relevant.

An outline of each of the national trainings is given below. In each case, further information and materials from the training events are available on the relevant link on the right of this page.

Montenegro – Environmental Crimes and Sustainable Forest Management, January 15-17, 2014

The main objective of the workshop was to establish links between the national institutions in charge of law implementation and environmental protection monitoring, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of Forestry under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, by deepening these institutions' understanding of their responsibilities, environmental protection tools (such as strategic environmental assessment and environmental impact assessment) and sustainable forest management. In addition, the workshop provided an overview of policies in the forestry and natural resources sectors, with environmental crimes among the main issues discussed.

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Environmental Crimes and Sustainable Forest and Nature Management, February 26-28, 2014

The main objectives of the workshop were to provide an overview of the situation in the country with respect to environmental crimes and the handling of criminal cases in the nature and forestry sectors, and to identify mechanisms for their prevention. The workshop also presented the status of natural resources management, provided an overview of the requirements for the sustainable management of natural resources, and proposed mechanisms for improving the current situation.

Serbia – The Role of Managers of Protected Areas: Problems and Experiences in Suppressing Environmental Offences in Protected Areas, February 24-26, 2014

The purpose of the seminar was to improve the management of protected areas in Serbia through the suppression of environmental offences and by building the capacity of managers of protected areas for the effective detection and adequate sanctioning of environmental offenders.

Albania – Environmental Crime: Knowledge, Identification and Documentation, March 26-28, 2014

The main objective of the training was to further support law enforcement by developing the skills and capacities of representatives of agencies dealing with environmental crimes. Specific goals were to provide national authorities with knowledge of procedures and practices in the Albanian context and with appropriate skills for environmental crime identification; engage authorities in discussions and encourage the sharing of experience on how to better address crimes against the environment; raise awareness and foster communication among Albanian law enforcement agencies; and gain knowledge about INTERPOL's National Environmental Security Task Force (NEST) initiative and its implementation in the near future. The event also provided a broad forum for discussion and exchange on the obstacles and challenges to be addressed either in terms of the legal framework or the institutional set-up and the respective resources.

Bosnia and Herzegovina – Combating Environmental Crimes, February 25-27, 2014

The main objectives of the training were to discuss and define national priorities in the context of Phase 2 of the Themis project. The most important conclusions were that:

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina has an insufficient number of laws, regulations and policy documents in the field of environmental protection.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina is faced with indifference on the part of the judiciary (marginalising procedures, sluggishness, lack of persistence) in relation to processes in the field of environmental protection.
  • Environmental crime priorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina include illegal logging, forest fires, air pollution (from traffic, private households/furnaces and industrial pollution), illegal hunting and trade in endangered species (especially in protected areas), the uncontrolled and illegal exploitation of gravel, and illegal waste disposal.
  • An internal network of environmental enforcers is needed in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • The three-day training was an occasion for environmental enforcers, police, prosecutors and policy makers to meet and establish a national informal network for future activities.

Kosovo* – Environmental Crime and Nature Protection, March 6-7, 2014

The aim of the national training was to present existing environmental legislation, the requirements of EU directives, environmental crime in the Criminal Code, and steps towards the implementation of the INTERPOL National Environmental Security Task Force (NEST). The training included a site visit to Prevalla, along with presentations on the prevention of illegal construction and illegal logging and forest fires in Prevalla.

National trainings
Themis National Trainings in 2014