WasteForce ‘Watch the Waste’ Final Conference Message: Keep the Momentum
13 May, 2021
Illegal activities with waste take many forms. The WasteForce Project aims to tackle this by boosting the capacities of environmental enforcement authorities in their efforts to disrupt the illegal waste trade. Under the WasteForce project, an extensive range of tools and resources have been specifically designed to make it easier for policy-makers, regulators, inspectors, investigators and prosecutors to counter waste crime.
During the final WasteForce conference (online) Friday the 7th of May 2021, these tools and capacity building activities were presented, including:
- A methodology to calculate the economic damage of waste trafficking
- The waste crime prosecution guidance
- The use of forensics data analysis
- An assessment methodology to measure the impact of new policies on the global waste trade
- Waste Crime Alerts
- 4 Multi-agency training events and 8 webinars
The conference, attended by 144 representatives from 37 countries and representatives from Interpol, WCO, UNEP, AECAN, OLAF and the European Commission, also discussed the legacy and opportunities to build on the products and networks developed under the WasteForce project.
The conference was opened by the following keynote speakers:
- Mr. Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Basel Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions
- Mr. Rory Corcoran, Assistant Director in the Illicit Markets Sub Directorate, INTERPOL
- Ms. Claudia Korthals, Policy Officer at the European Commission, DG Justice
- Mr. Éric Figliolia, Contact point for Environmental Crime, Eurojust
The need for effective enforcement, operational coordination and more dissuasive penalties for waste crime offences were some of the shared statements. And after an introduction to the WasteForce project by Ms. Nancy Isarin (WasteForce project coordinator), an interactive panel discussion took place with:
- Ms. Tatiana Terekhova (Programme Officer, Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions Secretariat)
- Mr. Gael de Rotalier (Policy Officer, European Commission/DG Environment)
- Mr. Rory Corcoran (Assistant Director in the Illicit Markets Sub Directorate, INTERPOL)
- Mr. Éric Figliolia (Contact point for Environmental Crime, Eurojust)
Panellist shared their views on distributive justice, priorities to make the shift to stop the illegal trade in waste, and what their organisations are doing to address communications challenges in tackling illegal waste trafficking.
The conference heard from Ms. Elisabete Matos (Public Prosecution Service, Portugal) about the success that the WasteForce training has now led to increased fight against illegal trade and management of waste through Portuguese criminal law. Ms. Suzana Zornada-Vrabec (Port authority of Koper, Slovenia) mentioned the added value of the tools of WasteForce for practical use in the international port of Koper. And a short video was presented by Ms. Fenny Wong Nyuk Yin (Department of Environment Ministry of Environment of Malaysia) on the value of European – Asian cooperation that WasteForce facilitated.
In break-out group discussions, led by the consortium partners, in-depth discussions took place to understand which gaps have been addressed by the project and which ones remain to be addressed in the future.
During the closing session, Nancy Isarin stressed the need for coordination at EU level of projects and initiatives on the topic of waste crime. Participants highlighted the need for keeping the tools available, up to date and further enhancement of the tools. Follow up activities should include more training, both for newcomers as well as specialists. Lastly, the conference strongly recommended to build on the established contacts and networks under this project.
Watch the WasteForce project video