Еxpert meeting for improving the cooperation during investigations of crime against nature

Jul 05, 2023
MOEW meeting
Photo: Dimitar Gradinarov

The Ministry of Environment and Water hostеd of technical meeting on the topic of Cooperation in legislation implementation for the protection of Saker Falcon and other raptors in Bulgaria. Experts from Ministry of Interior, Regional Inspectorates of Environment and Water, National Customs Agency, Association of Prosecutors in Bulgaria, BSPB, Green Balkans and WWF took part in the meeting.

The goal of the meeting was to continue the effective cooperation for tackling the long-term challenges in front of the protected species of raptors in Bulgaria and the implementation of the Action plan against illegal use of poisonous baits in nature in Bulgaria. Amongst the key factors for improving the effectiveness of investigation and prevention of crimes against nature is the improvement of the cooperation and communication between the institutions, changes in the legislation, capacity building for investigation of this particular type of crimes.

One on the focus topics of the meeting was the mechanism of cooperation between the new sector Crimes against nature in the Economy police department at the National Police Service and the other participants in the process: MEW, RIEW, Bulgarian Food Safety Agency, Public Prosecutor’s Department and the NGOs. The commitment crimes against nature to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law was clearly stated as well as the importance of the coordination between all of the participants in this process. It was underlined the necessity of involvement of the citizens in the reporting of crimes and of the environmental organizations with their expertise in the resolving of the cases.

Particular action and coordination protocols were discussed regarding the newly formed department at the National Police Service and the Public prosecutor’s Department, RIEW and the experts in case of a crime against nature and the work of its resolving. Thanks to the previously organized workshops dedicated to this type of crimes tens of prosecutors can be actively involved in the work, helping the police officers. It was emphasized the need of more such workshops and trainings on a regional level, which can support the coordination and the correct application of the action protocols in case of confirmed use of poisonous baits and other crimes against nature.

Another important topic of the meeting was the securing the old pesticides warehouses in Bulgaria. BSPB granted the information about the current condition of some of the warehouses in priority areas for environmental protection.

In the following years the priority for securing the warehouses will be granted to those of them located in a protected area or in an important habitat of protected species. The issue of illegal pesticide trade with countries outside the EU united the organizations and institutions around the necessity of strict control and measures to prevent it.
We are sure that the new department Crimes against nature will have key positive role in the coordination of the further activities.