The importance of tackling environmental crime

The EU EFFACE project (European Union Action to Fight Environmental Crime) held its final conference in Brussels in February. The conference was attended by more than 100 participants, including from enforcement bodies, EU institutions, think tanks, universities and others.

During the more than three years of EFFACE IEEP undertook research on the impacts of environmental crime, leading the development of recommendations to address weakness in information to support enforcement of environmental law. Further information on the recommendations can be found here. IEEP’s research emphasized the importance of effective collection of information to support law enforcement and particularly focused on issues related to illegal waste shipment, illegal dumping of waste and illegal fisheries.

The conclusions of EFFACE have been well received, not only by policy makers, but also be enforcement bodies. The final conferences highlighted the needs for improved governance, better understanding by bodies such as the policy and judiciary and effective application of sanctions to deter crime.

IEEP is continuing to promote the conclusions of EFFACE, so that environmental crime is better understood and its impacts on the environment and society are reduced. This involves integrating insights from EFFACE into our work on improving environmental governance, with a view to ensure scarce resources are targeted at what is most important for the environment and citizens.

For more information on our work in this area, please contact Andrew Farmer (