This capacity-building action was hosted by the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture, through its Nature Conservation Department. The Themis Secretariat would like to express its gratitude for the dedication and commitment of the Nature Conservation Department staff in the preparation and delivery of this event, in particular András Schmidt, Levente Kőrösi and Zoltán Czirák.
The training on nature conservation that took place in Budapest on October 27 and 28, 2015, was the second regional training under the Themis Network programme for 2014-2017. It focused on CITES and European Union instruments for nature conservation: the Birds and Habitats Directives and the Wildlife Trade Regulations.
The training was hosted and supported by the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture's Nature Conservation Department. Each participating Themis Network country nominated four participants working in the fields of forestry, nature protection and environmental inspection.
The main objectives were to identify the most common types of crimes under CITES and Council Regulation (EC) No. 338/97, as well as best enforcement practices; to identify bottlenecks in the implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives, along with possible solutions; to identify the most common issues related to Natura 2000 site designation, implementation and management (including interactions with spatial planning and rural development); and to present examples of how to develop an efficient monitoring and enforcement system for nature conservation using the example of an EU member state (Hungary).
The selected speakers from the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture were experts with many years of experience related to CITES, the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations, the Birds and Habitats Directives, and Natura 2000.
The training provided an opportunity for the exchange of experience between participants and an EU member state (Hungary) regarding the protection of natural resources (Natura 2000, Common Agricultural Policy, nature reserves) and trade in species (CITES, EU Wildlife Trade Regulations). Recommendations were given on the implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives, including Natura 2000 site designation, implementation and management, including a visit to a protected area in a dense urban environment (Sashegy in Budapest). Further outcomes of the event were an inventory of means for preserving agricultural biodiversity, including financial schemes; and the identification of the most common types of crimes under CITES and Council Regulation (EC) No. 338/97. Concrete examples of cases of illegal trade in wildlife were also shared, with a description of smuggling methods, routes and detection, highlighting the importance of raising public awareness on illegal trade in species, of training customs officers, and of promoting cooperation between national management authorities for better enforcement.