On 7th March 2023, a focus group was hosted at the United Nations House in Malaga with Spanish local Law Enforcement Authorities (LEAs) and stakeholders involved in contrasting waste-related crimes. This is the first meeting of this kind hosted within Work Package 4, “Operational training and testing of the EMERITUS integrated solution”, to identify the needs of target stakeholders. Such a bottom-up approach is in line with the co-creation methodology that underlies the entire project and that will inform the EMERITUS training programme towards enhancing the capacities of the authorities in charge of the application of environmental regulations.
The meeting, opened by the director of CIFAL Malaga, Julio Andrade, included a joint work dynamic to detect training and coordination needs among all the attendees. This exercise followed the presentation of the project and its specific objectives given by members of CIFAL Malaga and the Local Police. Among others, the main objective of EMERITUS is to develop and implement a protocol for the effective investigation of environmental crimes that will integrate several innovative surveillance and analysis technologies, such as drones, satellite data, virtual sensors, geo-intelligence data, etc.
Within the project consortium, CIFAL Malaga-UNITAR is tasked to create and deliver EMERITUS training programmes as well as contribute to the creation of the Community of Practice – a stable group of experts that will provide specific feedback and inputs to improve the solutions elaborated by the project.
For this reason, a meeting called Focal Group was organised with the objective of identifying all the actors involved and interested in the topic of environmental crimes within Malaga and the surrounding province, as well as detecting possible coordination and training needs on this subject. Through the understanding of the realities of local stakeholders as well as the identification of the kinds of training already available for environmental security authorities, it will be possible to better define the training “offer” of EMERITUS and standardise it among partners on their local levels.
These findings will be further discussed with consortium members and together with LEAs and BGs during the 1st EMERITUS Showcase Event that will be held soon.
The meeting was attended by representatives of SEPRONA, UPRONA of the Guardia Civil, the Andalusian Inter-University Institute of Criminology of the University of Malaga; the Coordination of Environmental Agents; the Fire Brigade; the National Police Underground Group; Operational Service; Logikers; IUCN; and the Environmental Group of the Local Police of Malaga.