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Through cooperation and education to the more effective wildlife crime prosecution

Crimes against nature and the environment are the fourth most lucrative activity of organized crime in the world, after human, drugs and weapon trafficking. Despite serious and dangerous consequences these crimes have on our planet and world economy, their numbers keep rising.

In order to raise awareness about the importance of prosecution of crimes against nature and to discourage them through better enforcement of EU environmental regulations and more successfully prosecuted crimes, WWF took part in the LIFE SWiPE project ("Sucessful Wildlife Crime Prosecution in Europe"). One of the activities we are implementing is the Criminalistic training module, which will help all relevant stakeholders, such as nature conservationists, inspectors, police and customs officers, to detect and prevent crimes against wild species as successfully as possible.

“One of the weaknesses we want to deal with through this project is reduced capacity of stakeholders in the chain of prosecuting crimes against nature. For that exact reason we created a Criminalistic training module for nature protection inspectors, nature conservationists and the police, while Judicial Academy - another partner in the SWiPE project, makes educational module for judges and prosecutors. Our main goal is to support all stakeholders, including police, inspectors, nature conservationists which face these crimes day to day, all to the judges and prosecutors. Only by cooperation and joint activities can we reduce crime against nature and the environment”, said Snježana Malić-Limari from WWF Adria.

First educational workshop, as a part of the Criminalistic training module, was held today, 24th of April in Zagreb, and it gathered police officers, representatives from State’s Attorney Office of Republic of Croatia, customs and nature conservationists. The workshop was attended by 22 participants, including all mentioned relevant institutions, NGOs and individuals.

“The development of the Criminalistic training module for the detection, research and prevention of crimes against strictly protected and endangered species is more than a commendable initiative that will further increase the efficiency of conservationists, as the most numerous service which, through its direct supervision, daily witnesses numerous threats to protected areas, species and habitats”, said Davor Slukan from Zeleni Prsten Public Institution from Zagreb County.

The project "Successful wildlife crime prosecution in Europe" (LIFE SWiPE) aims to discourage, and ultimately reduce the number of wildlife crimes, through better enforcement of EU environmental regulations and more successfully prosecuted crimes, helping thus restoring the endangered European biological diversity and ecosystem health. The project is being implemented by WWF, Flora & Fauna International, TRAFFIC, the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network, State's Attorney Office of the Republic of Croatia, and Judiciary Academy of the Republic of Croatia, in 11 european countries.
LIFE SWiPE Project

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