The Second Meeting of the EMERITUS CoP: An Initiative for Collaboration and Innovation

EMERITUS held the second meeting of its Community of Practice

In the context of the EMERITUS project, the Community of Practice (CoP) has established itself as a crucial point of collaboration, experience and knowledge sharing between project partners and relevant external stakeholders actively involved in the fight against environmental crimes. The second CoP meeting, held on 12th March 2024, marked an important step forward in the involvement of its participants. The main theme of the meeting titled “The Baseline Investigation Protocol and the Integration of Technologies in Investigative Practices” was the presentation of Work Package 2 (WP2) results, the co-creation of an investigation protocol for waste environmental crime and its integration with the EMERITUS platform, led by Crime and Tech.    


The investigation protocol for waste environmental crimes is an operational tool thought to support Law Enforcement Authorities (LEAs) and Border Guards (BGs) in the investigation and evidence collection processes through the integration of advanced technologies in their daily operations –i.e., drones, satellites, water monitoring systems. Importantly, by the end of the project, the protocol will be integrated into the EMERITUS’ geo-intelligence platform, which enables the integration of several monitoring and investigation technologies and data sources into a single-entry point platform, hence enhancing LEAs and BGs investigative capabilities. While in the first half of the project implementation emphasis was put on acquiring a solid and comprehensive understanding of all the phases characterizing environmental crimes investigations in different European countries, the second half will be used to develop more detailed protocols incorporating EMERITUS’ technologies into the various investigation phases.  

During the meeting, new members were welcomed into the Community of Practice (CoP), which now has 16 participants from a total of 12 organizations, including LEAs, universities, a United Nations agency, a municipality, and private organizations. 


The experts within the CoP received a clear understanding of their strategic role within the project: to provide guidance and crucial feedback to orient and validate the EMERITUS main activities. Moreover, the meeting has been a good opportunity for the CoP members to enhance their mutual collaboration and sense of ownership, which is critical to attaining the success and relevance of the project results. 


Relevant questions were raised by the participants concerning the EMERITUS platform interoperability – i.e., the ability of a system to work in conjunction with other systems, or its compatibility with other systems – with existing national databases, which will be enabled through the design and development of a specific platform’s component, namely the “system extension” component. 


At the next meeting at the end of April, the EMERITUS platform, currently being developed by GeoVille and whose alpha version was released in February 2024, will be presented to the CoP and discussed. It will be an opportunity to receive valuable feedback from the CoP members in order to improve and fine-tune the platform. Speaking of which, on the same day of the meeting, the first alpha version of the platform was presented to a selected group of participants. An article explaining its main features will be published shortly. 


EMERITUS Team is delighted with the involvement gathered so far and we invite anyone who is interested and has the expertise to join the CoP. More information about the EMERITUS Community of Practice can be found at the dedicated page, where it is also possible to submit your application to become a member.