Rome, 15 September 2017. An Expert Meting focusing on approaches to combat crimes that have serious impacts on the environment was jointly organized by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and the United Nations Environment (UN Environment) in Rome, on 13-15 September 2017.
The three-day meeting was aimed at discussing and refining the approach and content of a study mandated by UN Environment and developed by UNICRI. A further goal of the meeting was to define a set of recommendations to improve existing environmental laws and policies and their implementation.Participants included high level representatives from the law enforcement, governments, international organizations environmental agencies, academic institutions and NGOs.
Based on the findings of the draft study prepared by UNICRI, the experts discussed the current status of knowledge on crimes that are increasingly posing a multi-layered threat to the environment (the so-called environmental crimes) and the existing approaches at national, regional and international level, to prevent and counter the phenomenon. In particular, the experts examined the key impacts and drivers of environmental crimes, the interlinkages between environmental crimes and other crimes, as well as the obstacles that restrain a proper action of the law enforcement and the judiciary.
The expert meeting represented a unique opportunity to collect further inputs and examples of good practices related to regulation, prevention, enforcement, sentencing and cooperation practices implemented worldwide to combat environmental crimes. Finally, a set of practical recommendations was debated among the experts for Member States and relevant stakeholders to consider, as they seek to improve their approach to prevent and counter environmental crimes. The draft study will be amended and revised following the experts’ valued feedback and will be presented to UN Environment representatives in the coming months.