biodiversity crimes: book is on its way in Belgium - Cyberyann41 - CC BY 2.0
Photo: Cyberyann41 - CC BY 2.0

- By Equal team

biodiversity crimes: book is on its way in Belgium

"Des savanes flamandes et des forêts pluviales wallonnes": is the first book about domestic biodiversity crimes. The book compares the Flemish and Walloon legislation and practice. This comparison will enrich the insights

Recently, biodiversity crimes receive a lot of attention at international level. In 2016, the UNOCD (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) published its first ‘World Wildlife Crime Report'. That same year, Interpol and UN Environment published a report entitled 'The rise of environmental crime - A growing threat to natural resources, peace, development and security'. Also in 2016, at European level, an action plan against the illegal trade in wild fauna and flora was adopted.

What about the biodiversity crimes in Belgium ?

The Flemish and Walloon enforcement decrees of 2007-2009 have revolutionised the sanctioning of environmental crimes in both regions. The evolutions are particularly pronounced on biodiversity crimes, which previously were barely dealt with. The focus of these crimes is on violations of the laws relating to nature conservation, forestry, hunting and fishing. However, other regulations also play an important role, such as the regulation on protected landscapes. The number of official reports concerning biodiversity crimes has sharply increased in recent years, both in Flanders and Wallonia. What surely plays a role is that officials know that nowadays these reports will be followed up.

In the context of two seminars on domestic biodiversity crime (Ghent, 17 November 2017 and Louvain-la-Neuve, 15 December 2017) a book on this subject will be published: Carole M. Billiet & Charles-Hubert Born (eds.), In Vlaamse savannes en Waalse regenwouden. Biodiversiteitsmisdrijven in eigen land – Des savanes flamandes et forêts pluviales wallonnes. La criminalité en matière de biodiversité chez nous. The book is published by die Keure (Bruges) and is due to be available in March 2018.

For Belgium, this book will be the first one about this specific topic. The book is the result of collecting and analysing hundreds of unpublished sanctioning government decisions and dozens of unpublished judgements in criminal matters. We compare the state of affairs, legislation and enforcement practice in the Flemish Region with those from the Walloon Region. This comparison allows for more in-depth insights. The book offers the reader not only information about the enforcement legislation and practice, but also contains directly useful information from other scientific fields, in particular criminology, ecology and environmental economics.

Associated areas of specialisation: Environment


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