This SOP is a set of written instructions for the operational activities of the relevant environmental enforcement authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).
The purpose of this SOP is to facilitate the recognition, detection, investigation and prosecution of criminal offences against the environment, in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Code and environmental legislation in BiH. It is addressed to all competent ministries and other institutions having a role in environmental protection.
The SOP aims to provide guidance through the complex environmental legislation (including sectoral regulations in the fields of forestry and waste management) and criminal legislation, as well as through administrative, misdemeanour and criminal proceedings. The SOP is intended to help all participants in the process to perform their operations more successfully and in a simpler way, and should also contribute to enhanced cooperation among the different competent authorities in the area of environmental protection. Ultimately, the SOP aims at the achievement a high level of environmental protection.
Special attention is given to the role of environmental inspectors in the investigation and pre-trial proceedings, as well as their cooperation with the police and the competent prosecutor’s office. This includes the role of inspectors in investigations led by the prosecutor’s office and the role of inspectors as witnesses before the court.
In addition to the SOP on Environmental Offences, sector-specific SOPs have been prepared, related to waste management and forests, for example.
The SOP is intended to strengthen the role of inspectorates that are dealing with environmental offences, thus eliminating the economic benefits achieved by non-compliance, reducing environmental damage and promoting compliance with legislation.
Consistent application of the SOP will provide the best possible conditions for the effective functioning of the available operational capacity within the comprehensive system of environmental protection in BiH.