The fight against environmental crime in Spain and Portugal will join the efforts of the ministries for the Ecological and Interior Transition in the Guardians of Nature project, coordinated by the NGO SEO / BirdLife and financed by the Life program of the European Union.
The Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, and the Minister for Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, today presented the initiative at the headquarters of this Ministry, in which the Department of the Environment of the Junta de Andalucía, the Sociedade Portuguesa for o Estudo das Aves (SPEA) and the Nature Protection Service of the Civil Guard, Seprona.
The General Director of Environment of the European Commission, Daniel Calleja, recalled that Spain is "a pioneer" in the pursuit of environmental crime and "it is fair to acknowledge its contribution."
In an intervention broadcast via satellite, Calleja has ensured that crimes against the environment "are an attack against nature and our health and should be treated as a priority and urgent," with the collaboration of civil society.
Teresa Ribera has applauded the "novel idea" of reinforcing the alliance between actors of different specialization and vocation and of different countries under the Life program "that has benefited environmental activity in Spain so much".
"The environment knows no borders, the world is much smaller than we thought", said the minister, who highlighted the "environmental value" of the Magna Carta on its 40th anniversary.
For his part, the Interior Minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, recalled that environmental crimes "have become one of the most profitable activities for criminal organizations and still with a high level of impunity."
He congratulated Seprona for his 30 years of service and thanked SEO / BirdLife for its environmental sensitivity and ecological ambition, because "the protection of nature and its conservation are a necessity and a right for the future".
The executive director of SEO / BirdLife, Asunción Ruiz, has described the project as "a step forward, difficult, but courageous, important, emblematic and can not be postponed".
He recalled that almost three million tons of electronic and electrical waste from Europe are exported illegally each year, 26 million birds die due to illegal hunting, 500,000 hectares of surface burn every year in the European Union and in the last 20 years, 18,500 animals They have been poisoned in Spain.
The initiative, explained Ruiz, will review the regulatory framework, analyze the motivation of environmental aggressions, raise awareness about the importance of these acts, strengthen judicial and police capacity and train forestry agents.
Antonio Campos, general head of Seprona, stressed that the project is a pioneer and Iberian, but has been convinced that "the effort can be extrapolated to the rest of the EU."
The objective of the Guardians of Nature project is to minimize the incidence of environmental crime, especially against habitats and wildlife in Spain and Portugal, by improving actions aimed at combating such crimes.
In Spain, according to the latest report of the Prosecutor's Office, of the total number of proceedings initiated (8,277) 1,062 led to the filing of a complaint or complaint, 1,248 were filed and the rest are in process, and convictions increased from 975 of the previous year until 1,187.