BRUSSELS, Nov-23-2017 — /EuropaWire/ — DOTCOM Waste and BlockWaste have joined forces for today’s conference, “No Time To Waste! Synergies and Strategies to Tackle Waste Crime.” This interactive event will showcase the key results of the two projects on illegal waste management and trade, financed by the Internal Security Fund of the European Union. Those involved in targeting waste crime such as regulators, environmental authorities, law enforcement agencies, and researchers, will be brought up to date on the latest waste crime trends, EU Council activities and recommendations, and practical tools available for prevention and detection, as well as a look at what the future could bring. The conference is taking place at Representation of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Brussels, Belgium.
The keynote address is being delivered by Marina de Gier, Chair of the IMPEL Working Group of TFS and David Ellero, Business Manager, O2-B Operations Economic Property and Crime unit, EUROPOL. A high-level roundtable discussion with representatives of six international institutions involved in the fight against environmental crime will follow on the recent EU Council Conclusions on Environmental Crimes and Recommendations. Attendees will then also be invited to discuss their views on “understanding illegal waste trade: today’s reality and tomorrow’s perspectives”.
Practical tools to counter illegal waste trade will also be presented, including the DOTCOM Waste Online Training Toolkit, which provides practical training materials to strengthen enforcement authorities.
The conference will be concluded with the discussion of a set of proposals addressed to policy makers and areas for future research initiatives. Participants will in particular discuss concrete ideas on how to further develop inspection methodologies and tools (such as the Mobile App for inspectors, “WATCH-IT”) and how to improve the exchange of intelligence and operational information that can support intelligence-led and cross-border investigations.
Finally, concrete follow-up initiatives will be also launched during the conference, such as the development of tailored training materials and the promotion of further seminars. This includes multidisciplinary initiatives involving all the actors in the environmental crime enforcement chains, such as police, customs, national environmental inspectorates and other administrative and judicial authorities in the environmental field.
Project coordinator Terhi Kankaanranta emphasises that “the joint conference offers the participants broader understanding about the complexities of illegal waste trafficking, when scientific results obtained in the BlockWaste project can now easily be reflected in the future training material”.
BlockWaste project had an ambitious objective to produce information to be used in intelligence-led prevention of organised waste trafficking crime. The Project succeeded in identifying typical modus operandi and loopholes in regulation, and estimating lost revenues due to illegal actions. In addition, emerging threats in the waste sector, as well as loopholes in practical cross-border co-operation were identified.
Project Coordinator, Federico Magalini of United Nations University said “We are delighted with the opportunity to co-host this event with BlockWaste and give attendees the opportunity to hear firsthand about the findings of the DOTCOM Waste project and the practical training tools we have developed to help those on the front line of fighting illicit waste trafficking”.
“We set out at the beginning of this project with a mandate from our high-level advisory board to not reinvent the wheel, but to collate information and best practices already produced, then identify and fill gaps where possible, and produce practical training solutions to support stakeholders. We are very pleased with the outcome of our training initiatives and tools and hope that they will continue to add value over the coming years.”