The LIFE Natura Themis (LIFE14/GIE/GR/000026: “Promoting awareness of wildlife crime prosecution and liability for biodiversity damage in NATURA 2000 areas in Crete”) is a five years’ project, aiming to promote environmental crime prosecution within NATURA 2000 areas in Crete, Greece. The project is addressed to Judges, State Prosecutors, Lawyers, NGOs, administrative authorities with interrogative competencies and the lay public.
Contractor of the project is the University of Crete - Natural History Museum of Crete and the partners are, SYGAPEZ, the Greek Nature Protection Society (EEPF), the Bar Association of Chania as well as the Heraklion Bar Association. The need to implement the aforesaid project arose after finding that prosecutors and interrogative authorities are not familiar with the competencies and the protection status of the protected areas.
Among the key objectives of LIFE NATURA THEMIS project are:
• Awareness on the part of authorities that environmental crime is a separate criminal law field and there is individual responsibility for preventing and remedying environmental damage
• The skills cultivation of interrogative clerks in preventing and effectively prosecuting environmental crime and taking on the best possible compensation for damage to the environment.
• The documentation that the correct application of environmental law promotes local development and social cohesion and ensures the sound use of environmental resources.
• The NATURA 2000 sites inhabitants information about illegal activity in their areas, affecting local development, social cohesion and economic progress.
The realization of these objectives is based on the primary material first time gathered in cooperation with the competent authorities, by the two observatories of Environmental Crime. The material is publicly available, on the official website of the project. The environmental crime map and the interrogation authorities’ guides are intended to facilitate the planning and the conducting of criminal prosecution.