BIOVAL: joint project to value ecological damages for potential use during prosecution of wildlife crime
IMPEL is involved as a partner in BIOVAL, a joint project of EUFJE, ENPE, KU Leuven and IMPEL. It aims at creating a non-binding, practical instrument to value ecological damages. The major advantages of using such a valuation instrument in administrative, civil or criminal procedures would be the greater legal certainty and the shorter case duration. It may also lead to more equal treatment of similar cases assessed in different contexts (different regions, different courts, different procedures). Initially, the scope of the BIOVAL project is limited to the valuation of wild fauna / vertebrates.
In the first stage, the partners were searching for and examining existing price list systems in EU member states. In Spring 2020, an online survey was launched:
To collect as much information as possible and to start up discussions, three cases were submitted to judges, prosecutors, inspectors, academics and NGO’s — regarding the wolf, the starling and the red kite.
In August and September 2020, the information obtained was analysed, focusing on the Red Kite (milvus milvus), which is often the victim of poisoning and habitat destruction. This exercise was conducted to get a feel for the values; how are these chosen and which problems exist? As a result of this “Red Kite exercise”, in a nutshell, values for the Red Kite in no less than 10 (mainly Eastern) European countries were found who have price lists or similar instruments. Values range from € 150 in Bulgaria to € 17.200 in Latvia.
Towards the end of March 2021, a series of in depth online workshops on BIOVAL and the red kite exercise will be held. The target audience are environmental economists, biologists, judges, prosecutors, police, enforcement authorities, etc.
The project team is also exploring possible synergies with similar LIFE projects, such as LIFE SWiPE (Successful Wildlife Crime Prosecution in Europe), LIFE Nature Guardians and LIFE EUROKITE.
BIOVAL will be presented during the Next Joint Meeting of the Bern Convention’s SFPs on Illegal Killing, Trapping and Trade in Wild Birds (IKB) and the UNEP/CMS MIKT Task Force in Spring 2021.