The Protection of Habitats and Endangered Species

The conference offered a wide range of plenary presentations by specialists from all across Europe, and even from China and Australia. Breakout sessions focused on specific environmental themes and included local speakers, case studies, and presentations on innovative techniques to improve consistency in prosecuting environmental crime. Simultaneously, the IMPEL Water & Land Expert Team hosted the Water Crimes project workshop.

Breakout session presenters

LIFE programme’s contribution to fighting wildlife crime in the EU

João Pedro Silva, EU LIFE Communications Team

Sanctioning practices and biodiversity

Carole Billiet, Chair of LIFE-ENPE Working Group Sanctioning, Prosecution & Judicial Practice

Illegal killings, investigations and innovative tracking technologies

Johannes Fritz, LIFE Reason for Hope Project Manager

Your thoughts on the breakout sessions

Rikke Jensen, prosecutor and ENPE Member Representative (Denmark)

“I was excited about the habitats breakout session. It’s very important that we share best practices, focus on problems and learn from each other. And it’s also important to get to know each other and know who else is working on these issues. Environmental crime has no borders. So when I meet someone from Germany, I know I can possibly contact them if I ever have a relevant case. It’s also good to meet scientists, to learn from them and hear their perspectives and ideas. They can help us understand all the technologies we can use to prosecute environmental crimes.”

Dimitar Gradinarov, Egyptian Vulture New LIFE (Bulgaria)

“The species breakout session was very interesting. I especially liked the presentation about the conservation and protection of the vultures in Crete. In Bulgaria, one of our biggest problems was a certain falcon trapper, who was active in Crete too. We actually shared some information on him over the years with our Greek colleagues. It was also interesting to see a map of Crete with the population of various raptors. In general, I’ve heard some valuable data about what our partners are doing, especially from the perspective of environmental crime prosecutors. They are a very important element in fighting wildlife crime.”

Maria Maniadaki, Bar Association of Chania (Greece)

“I went to the breakout session on innovation. It was quite helpful to hear from all different sides and innovative perspectives about how to tackle environmental crime. I was astonished about the ways you can monitor birds on their migration routes, and how even satellites can help us to protect endangered species. We have so many new technologies, and the best way to use them is for the benefit of the environment.”

IMPEL Water Crimes project workshop

Giuseppe Sgorbati, IMPEL Water & Land Expert Team

Your thoughts on the Water Crimes project workshop

Paul Hickey, Environment Agency (United Kingdom)

“Water crimes isn’t an area that is on people’s radars yet. At least not in the way that other environmental crimes are. It’s something we expect to grow in significance, both in terms of the impact on the environment, as well as the focus from criminal or terrorist organisations on water infrastructure. We’ve talked about the information gap between environmental bodies and the police and intelligence agencies. We will have to bring those two different worlds together to form a united front.”

Darja Stanic-Racman, Environmental Inspectorate (Slovenia)

“The case studies presented were very interesting. It’s always good to hear how others are handling the same problems that we are facing and to exchange knowledge and experiences. Especially since there are a lot of problems in the environmental area that are not so easy to solve. I also liked hearing about the notion of an environmental guard; it seems that they have different responsibilities that we have as an inspectorate.”