In the period 2012-2014, the Themis Network held a cycle of regional and subregional trainings aimed at ministries of environment (environmental inspectors); practitioners from enforcement agencies attached to ministries of the interior (police, customs); judges and prosecutors; and policy makers and legislators in the field of environment. The goals of the trainings were to increase administrative capacities in the relevant national authorities regarding EU environmental legislation and combating environmental crimes (in particular those related to forestry), and to enhance regional cooperation via networking.
The main objective of the tour was to follow up on a discussion opened during a 2013 meeting in Sarajevo regarding the opportunities currently present in the region to establish national networks of environmental enforcers.
The main objective of this training was to serve as a forum to strengthen internal dialogue and to improve coordination and cooperation internally in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition, it sought to provide an opportunity to cement ties between experts from each entity and the central government. The training achieved these goals by presenting INTERPOL's methodology of National Environmental Security Task Forces (NESTs) and by reviewing experiences with its implementation, including in neighbouring Croatia.
The main objective was to equip participants with knowledge about the EU legislative framework in the field of environmental crimes, and how it is currently being implemented in South Eastern Europe. Through case studies from Montenegro and Croatia, participants were able to explore how the Environmental Crimes Directive is being transposed and implemented. Sessions on the status of the implementation of environmental laws were complemented by an overview of the general principles of law enforcement in the context of a rule-of-law state. Finally, the workshops provided an opportunity to discuss the main challenges and offences in the region’s protected areas and forests.
The main objectives of the study visit were to introduce participants to Serbian management practices in relation to forest law enforcement and forest management, especially with respect to illegal logging and the prevention of forest fires. Participants had the chance to observe the operations of the Serbian State Enterprise for Forest Management, Srbijasume. The study tour was also an opportunity for networking among national actors responsible for forestry and general environmental law enforcement in the Themis countries, making it possible for them to cooperate more closely in the future and leading to dialogue among the forest authorities present at the training regarding illegal logging and the cross-border management of forest fires.
The main objective was to equip participants with knowledge about sustainable forest management and forest governance, with a special focus on the legal and institutional framework, law enforcement, participatory policy development and implementation, and forest monitoring. Specific examples from Austria were used. The training was structured according to the following key concepts:
The classroom component was complemented by a study tour to Skadar Lake, where participants were able to observe concrete examples of environmental crimes in a protected area.
The Themis Secretariat held a subregional training for participants from Albania and Kosovo*, focusing on natural resources management and in particular nature conservation and management plans in protected areas.
The second environmental crimes training under the multi-annual work programme for 2012-2013 (Cluster 3 of activities) took place in Vienna, in close cooperation with the Criminal Intelligence Service Austria (Environmental Crime) and Umweltbundesamt.
The speakers brought to the fore examples of best practices implemented in Austria and Croatia regarding the investigation and prosecution of environmental crime. The training was divided into four thematic pillars:
The training also promoted closer cooperation between investigators and prosecutors, encouraging greater mutual understanding across the different branches of the administration and helping to ensure a better success rate in preventing and prosecuting environmental crimes.
The first environmental crimes training under the multi-annual work programme for 2012-2013 (Cluster 3 of activities) took place in Budapest, in close cooperation with the Hungarian Judicial Academy and EMLA. The training was aimed at judges and prosecutors from the Themis countries. It was designed to build their legal environmental references and enhance understanding within the judiciary of environmental offences.
The first Themis training on natural resources management took place back to back with the Executive Committee meeting. The training came under the second cluster of activities in the multi-annual work programme for 2012 and 2013: "Protecting Natural Resources and Combating Illegal Logging (EU acquis & MEAs)".