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Regional and Subregional Trainings 2012-2014

In the period 2012-2014, the Themis Network held a cycle of regional and subregional trainings aimed at ministries of environment (environmental inspectors); practitioners from enforcement agencies attached to ministries of the interior (police, customs); judges and prosecutors; and policy makers and legislators in the field of environment. The goals of the trainings were to increase administrative capacities in the relevant national authorities regarding EU environmental legislation and combating environmental crimes (in particular those related to forestry), and to enhance regional cooperation via networking.

INTERPOL Study Tour, January 28-29, 2014

The main objective of the tour was to follow up on a discussion opened during a 2013 meeting in Sarajevo regarding the opportunities currently present in the region to establish national networks of environmental enforcers.

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Networking for Enforcement and NESTs, October 8-9, 2013

The main objective of this training was to serve as a forum to strengthen internal dialogue and to improve coordination and cooperation internally in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition, it sought to provide an opportunity to cement ties between experts from each entity and the central government. The training achieved these goals by presenting INTERPOL's methodology of National Environmental Security Task Forces (NESTs) and by reviewing experiences with its implementation, including in neighbouring Croatia.

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Environmental Crimes – Legal and Institutional Frameworks, May 27-30, 2013

The main objective was to equip participants with knowledge about the EU legislative framework in the field of environmental crimes, and how it is currently being implemented in South Eastern Europe. Through case studies from Montenegro and Croatia, participants were able to explore how the Environmental Crimes Directive is being transposed and implemented. Sessions on the status of the implementation of environmental laws were complemented by an overview of the general principles of law enforcement in the context of a rule-of-law state. Finally, the workshops provided an opportunity to discuss the main challenges and offences in the region’s protected areas and forests.

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Subregional Study Tour, Zlatar Mountain, Serbia, June 26-27, 2013

The main objectives of the study visit were to introduce participants to Serbian management practices in relation to forest law enforcement and forest management, especially with respect to illegal logging and the prevention of forest fires. Participants had the chance to observe the operations of the Serbian State Enterprise for Forest Management, Srbijasume. The study tour was also an opportunity for networking among national actors responsible for forestry and general environmental law enforcement in the Themis countries, making it possible for them to cooperate more closely in the future and leading to dialogue among the forest authorities present at the training regarding illegal logging and the cross-border management of forest fires.

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Sustainable Forest Management, May 27-30, 2013

The main objective was to equip participants with knowledge about sustainable forest management and forest governance, with a special focus on the legal and institutional framework, law enforcement, participatory policy development and implementation, and forest monitoring. Specific examples from Austria were used. The training was structured according to the following key concepts:

  • The aim: Sustainably managed forests
  • The backbone: A solid legal framework
  • The motor: An effective institutional set-up
  • The brain: A smart information system
  • The heart: Systematic stakeholder participation
  • The money: A transparent, efficient financial framework

The classroom component was complemented by a study tour to Skadar Lake, where participants were able to observe concrete examples of environmental crimes in a protected area. 

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Subregional Training on Natural Resources Management, July 10-11, 2012

The Themis Secretariat held a subregional training for participants from Albania and Kosovo*, focusing on natural resources management and in particular nature conservation and management plans in protected areas.

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Environmental Crimes Training, November 28-30, 2012

The second environmental crimes training under the multi-annual work programme for 2012-2013 (Cluster 3 of activities) took place in Vienna, in close cooperation with the Criminal Intelligence Service Austria (Environmental Crime) and Umweltbundesamt.

The speakers brought to the fore examples of best practices implemented in Austria and Croatia regarding the investigation and prosecution of environmental crime. The training was divided into four thematic pillars:

  • Conceptual and legal background:
    • an explanation of the concept of environmental crimes and the use of criminal law to prosecute environmental offences; and
    • the legal framework —  EU directive on environmental crime and examples of criminal laws that can be used for environmental protection and enforcement (Austria).
  • Organisational issues: the need for cooperation and coordination due to the fact that responsibilities and expertise in relation to environmental crime issues are often split between different branches of the administration.
  • Main areas of environmental crime investigation and prosecution: in particular waste (illegal dumping and illegal shipping) and its relationship to penal law.
  • Case studies: How were the environmental crime cases detected? How were they investigated? What was the relevant national legal framework? And was more than one agency involved in the investigation and prosecution of the cases?

The training also promoted closer cooperation between investigators and prosecutors, encouraging greater mutual understanding across the different branches of the administration and helping to ensure a better success rate in preventing and prosecuting environmental crimes.

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Environmental Crimes Training for Judges, October 9-10, 2012

The first environmental crimes training under the multi-annual work programme for 2012-2013 (Cluster 3 of activities) took place in Budapest, in close cooperation with the Hungarian Judicial Academy and EMLA. The training was aimed at judges and prosecutors from the Themis countries. It was designed to build their legal environmental references and enhance understanding within the judiciary of environmental offences.

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Training on Natural Resources Management, May 9-10, 2012

The first Themis training on natural resources management took place back to back with the Executive Committee meeting. The training came under the second cluster of activities in the multi-annual work programme for 2012 and 2013: "Protecting Natural Resources and Combating Illegal Logging (EU acquis & MEAs)".

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Regional and subregional trainings
Regional and Subregional Trainings 2012-2014