This capacity-building action was hosted by the Portuguese Inspectorate: Inspeção-Geral da Agricultura, do Mar, do Ambiente e do Ordenamento do Território (IGAMAOT). The Themis Secretariat would like to express its gratitude for the tireless dedication of IGAMAOT staff in the preparation and delivery of this event, in particular Isabel Santana, Paula Matias, Mario Grácio, Nuno Miguel S. Banza, Olga Silva, Bibiana Cardoso da Silva, Roberto Valadares, Maria João Rodrigues, Salomé Ribeiro, Ana Espanhol, Luís Marques, Susana Silva, Alvaro Barroqueiro, Felipe Barros Vitorino and Marco Candeias.
The Themis training needs assessment revealed that all member countries are affected by a lack of human, financial and infrastructural resources to implement environmental legislation to its fullest extent. The main objective of this capacity-building action was therefore to provide participants with the necessary skill set for good organisational and knowledge management within institutions/departments, in a context of limited resources, by presenting the enforcement and inspection techniques deployed by an EU member state.
The training took place between June 3 and 6, 2015, in Lisbon, Elvas, Mourao, Vilar Formoso and Valenca (Portugal). Participants received training on management practices, including self-assessment tools; planning; and knowledge management systems. The training also identified practical tools and techniques for enforcers, with the support and expertise of the Portuguese Environmental Inspectorate.The training also had a strong practical and experience exchange component, as the Portuguese Inspectorate facilitated the participation of Themis members in a transboundary waste shipment control campaign. The enforcement campaign took place over two days, in cooperation with the Spanish authorities and Portuguese environmental police. It was an excellent example of cross-border multi-agency cooperation between two member states.
Day 1 was spent at the premises of the Inspectorate, with presentations on the organisation of inspections in Portugal; risk assessment (planning tools); complaints management; geographic information systems; new inspection approaches (the use of compliance management systems); and the informal resolution of conflicts using mediation strategies. Days 2 and 3 were spent in the field, participating in the transboundary waste shipment control campaign. Day 4 was devoted to organisational and management topics in order to ensure that participants acquired the appropriate skills to better organise work within their institutions, and also that the acquired knowledge and experience will be reproduced across departments, thus starting the creation of knowledge maintenance systems. The official language of the training was English.
The outcomes were experience exchange between participants and an EU member state regarding management strategies, enforcement and inspection techniques under limited financial conditions; a demonstration of the importance of the role of multi-agency cooperation in order to overcome practical constraints; a study tour that provided immediate experience of a real transboundary waste shipment control campaign involving two EU member states (Portugal and Spain); the identification of practical toolkits for enforcers, including the Portuguese implementation of risk assessment tools for inspection planning, complaints management and geographical information systems; discussions of the importance of departmental/organisational management for better law enforcement; case study analyses and SWOT assessment techniques that can be applied in the participants' own organisations; an introduction to capacity self-assessment tools; the application of planning tools; basic change management skills; the development of collaboration and communication skills; the identification of strategies for conflict management and resolution; the development of draft hypothetical departmental management plans (with objectives, resources, target dates, etc.); the exchange of information on organisational strategic plans posted on the Internet; knowledge of IMPEL tools for inspectors related to work flow management and prioritisation; an introduction to voluntary compliance management systems and voluntary conflict management systems; a case study of multi-agency cooperation in Portugal and between the police and inspectorates of Portugal and Spain; and the establishment of a cohesive collaborative network of government officials from the region.
The trainers included representatives of the Portuguese Inspectorate, IMPEL and INECE, as well as Elaine Wright, an expert in management issues.