On the 28th-29th September 2023, the 4 Networks (EnviCrimeNet, ENPE, IMPEL & EUFJE) held a conference on ‘Cooperation in strengthening environmental enforcement’, at the Carabinieri Officers School (Rome). This conference built on the success of the last 4 Networks online event – Together in the fight against environmental crime in 2021 as well as the two previous conferences held in person in Oxford in 2017 and Utrecht in 2016.

This activity is included in the LIFE+ SATEC Project with the aim of bringing experiences and synergies from different actors in the fight against environmental crime and of consolidating alliances to share information, to study advances in the same matters, to validate conclusions and to disseminate results.

The conference was held on September 28-29 and brought together over 400 participants from across Europe, Australia, the USA, Ukraine, relevant authorities, and members of the 4 Networks: IMPEL, EUFJE, ENPE, and EnviCrimeNet.

🇪🇺 IMPEL Network (EU Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law): www.impel.eu
🇪🇺 EnviCrimeNet (EU Network of European Law Enforcement Agencies): www.envicrimenet.eu
🇪🇺 ENPE (European Network of Prosecutors for the Environment):  www.environmentalprosecutors.eu
🇪🇺 EUFJE (EU Forum of Judges for the Environment): www.eufje.org

International cooperation and alignment are very important when it comes to the enforcement of EU environmental law. To improve the collaboration and alignment of enforcement, it is essential that enforcers have structural, personal, and frequent contact moments where they can strengthen their network, exchange experiences and best practices, discuss ongoing cases, and align their enforcement activities together. The overall goal of the 4 Networks conference is to bring all relevant parties together to debate joint efforts to fight environmental crime.

The conference was dynamic and gave participants the opportunity to participate in parallel breakout sessions. EnviCrimeNet participated in the following sessions, chaired by Ondrej Koporec:

-The Greek Ombudsman’s (GO) role in the implementation of environmental liability legislation

-The inspection, monitoring and remediation of old landfills to prevent environmental damage

-The Remediation of the Steelworks Waste Site on Haulbowline Island, Cork

-Bioval – a practical tool to calculate compensations for damage to wildlife

-How new techniques can be used to prevent and detect environmental offences?

-Impact of Sustainability in the criminal interests connected to the environmental sector – Focus on CO2 Credits Market

-Setting up a new techniques department in Slovakia

-Contribution of Earth observation and geostatistics on information

In conclusion, this year’s conference has been a success in every respect, and the general feeling overall has been extremely gratifying, with the desire to reinforce bonds between the networks and experts and increase cooperation in the fight against environmental crime in the European Union and across borders.