About the project
Wildlife crime, including poaching, wildlife trafficking, or illegal poisoning, causes a significant reduction in biodiversity and can lead to the extinction of animal and plant species in Europe and beyond, despite the existence of regulatory frameworks consisting of different international conventions and EU legal instruments. Wildlife crime is not a petty crime. It poses a considerable and increasing threat to the environment and also to economic and social development and security. Organised criminal groups often commit such activities, in many cases involving corruption. Due to the scale of the problem, there is an urgent need for enhanced enforcement of laws and effective prosecution to counteract wildlife crime. The Successful Wildlife Crime Prosecution in Europe (SWiPE) project aims to take action on these issues.
The SWiPE consortium comprises 13 partners in 11 countries under the funding of the EU LIFE programme and works with enforcement authorities to discourage and ultimately reduce wildlife crime by improving compliance with EU environmental law. SWiPE aims to contribute to increasing the number of successfully prosecuted offences.
11 European countries participate in the project, including EU-member states, EU candidate countries, and potential EU candidate countries.
The designations of geographical entities in this publication, and the presentation of the material, do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the SWiPE project partners, the European Commission, and any project donors concerning the legal status of any country, territory, or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.
Lead partner: WWF Bulgaria
Associated beneficiaries: State Attorney’s Office of the Republic of Croatia, Fauna & Flora International (in Romania), Judicial Academy Croatia, WWF Adria in Serbia, WWF Adria, WWF Spain, WWF Hungary & TRAFFIC, WWF Italy, WWF Poland, WWF Romania, WWF Slovakia, and WWF Ukraine
The SWiPE project is funded by the LIFE programme of the European Union and actions at a national level has been co-financed by the US Embassy in Budapest, the Ministry of Agriculture in Hungary, Fond za zaštitu okoliša i energetsku učinkovitost in Croatia, and Government of the Republic of Croatia Office for Cooperation with NGOs.
The project aims to boost the awareness and capacity of prosecutors and selected law enforcement authorities to provide effective environmental compliance assurance, enhance cross-border knowledge exchange, and increase cooperation between relevant authorities. Overall, SWiPE will help reduce the illegal killing of Europe’s wildlife, support the recovery of threatened European biodiversity, the health of ecosystems, and decrease Europe’s involvement in the illegal wildlife trade.
- Compile data on wildlife crime in 11 target countries and transfer our data to existing, reliable databases on wildlife crime (where these are available) to enable access to information, improve comparison of data across Europe, and contribute to the work of law enforcement officers.
- Increase awareness, knowledge, and capacity of wildlife crime professionals (prosecutors and experts from enforcement agencies) in 11 target countries to improve national and cross-border governance concerning wildlife crime investigation and prosecution.
- Inform and drive meaningful changes to relevant national and European level policies to increase the recognition of wildlife crime, its seriousness and immense impact.
- Raise awareness of practitioners, as well as of the public on wildlife crime.