During the SPIDER WEB Conference in Zagreb, Croatia, on 12 November 2019 a panel of specialists discussed fighting environmental crime in the Western Balkans.
The panel consisted of moderator Miljenka Kliček (Croatia), Anila Leka (Albania), Jelena Samuilov (Serbia), Florije Kqiku (Kosovo*), Marina Malish-Sazdovska (North Macedonia) and Muhamed Hodžić (Bosnia and Herzegovina).
Among others, the panel felt that one way to fight environmental crime is to raise much more public awareness on the impact of environmental crime on for instance people’s health, as this will make enforcement a higher priority. Other suggestions include continuation of practical and specialised training, facilitating the exchange of best practices and building a regional enforcement network.
The panel recognised the added value of the SPIDER WEB project and called for a follow up of the work. This should include targeting as well as integrating specific categories of specialists of the enforcement chain and allow for effective networking and sharing of contacts, with a view on improving the detection of environmental crime cases — and ideally, preventing them from happening.