The sister projects EMERITUS and PERIVALLON join their efforts to strengthen European capabilities to tackle environmental crimes
In the world of research and innovation, collaboration is often the key to success. This holds true for EMERITUS and PERIVALLON. The two sister projects share a common thread – they are both funded under the same Horizon Europe’s call, and a common vision – enhancing the European Union’s capacity to combat environmental crimes.
Environmental crime is currently identified as one of the most critical organised crime threats faced by the EU and is undeniably on the rise. The fight against such kinds of crimes is particularly challenging due to the range of items and substances illegally transported, smuggled and/or traded, intentionally dumped in soil or waters, and the diverse technologies required for detecting and preventing such offences.
Let’s delve into a brief description of each project and explore their collaborative journey that holds the promise of making a substantial impact on this effort.
EMERITUS: Environmental crimes’ intelligence and investigation protocol based on multiple data sources.
EMERITUS is an innovation project that aims to develop a protocol for the effective investigation of environmental crimes, integrating the use in operations of innovative surveillance and analysis technologies. In order to enable the actual use of such technologies, a complementary training programme will be undertaken during the project to foster the intelligence and investigation capabilities of the authorities responsible for enforcing environmental regulations and prosecuting related crimes, combining theoretical aspects and practical simulations. This is intended to support Law Enforcement Authorities (LEAs) and Border Guards (BGs) in the effective investigation of environmental crime at national and cross-border levels, facilitating collaborative operations and networking in this domain. EMERITUS is executed by a consortium of 20 partners, including top-level research institutions, industrial companies, security-specialised SMEs, NGOs, LEAs and BGs, from 9 countries and 3 affiliated entities.
PERIVALLON: Protecting the EuRopean terrItory from organised enVironmentAl crime through inteLLigent threat detectiON tools.
PERIVALLON aims to provide an improved and comprehensive intelligence picture of organised environmental crime and develop effective and efficient tools and solutions for detecting and preventing such types of criminal activities and for assessing their environmental impact, and the insights obtained through the proposed Environmental Crime Observatory. The capacity of end users (including Police Authorities and Border Guards) will be improved by enabling them to tackle such criminal activities by providing an innovative training curriculum. Moreover, improved international cooperation will be facilitated through improved data sharing enabled by blockchain technologies, while improved regulation shaping and tuning will be supported through relevant policy recommendations. The project brings together 24 partners from 12 EU and non-EU countries – 5 Police and Border Guard Authorities, 3 authorities related to environmental protection, 6 Research/Academic institutions, 8 industry partners (including 7 SMEs), one EU Agency, and one Foundation. As such, PERIVALLON delivers a strong representation of the challenges, requirements, and tools to meet its objectives.
A Momentus Meeting in Verona
The paths of EMERITUS and PERIVALLON intersected for the first time during the EMERITUS 1 st Showcase Event held in Verona on 17th March 2023, entitled “Strategies and Synergies to Strengthen EU Capabilities against Environmental Crimes”. This event served as a catalyst for collaboration, where experts from both projects exchanged ideas and explored ways for synergy. As part of this meeting, participants had the opportunity to visit the former Calvarina military base, which provided valuable insights into real-world challenges associated with environmental crimes. This visit deepened the understanding of the environmental risks that Europe faces and underscored the importance of these projects’ missions.
Paving the Way for Collaboration
To ensure the seamless development and execution of their collaborative efforts, the teams of EMERITUS and PERIVALLON meet online every two months. These virtual gatherings serve as forums for brainstorming, planning, and monitoring progress toward their shared goals. Following their initial meeting, EMERITUS and PERIVALLON identified two key avenues of collaboration that would strengthen their collective impact:
Joint Engagement & Outreach Activities
The projects are gearing up to organise an exclusive online workshop scheduled for October. This closed meeting will facilitate discussions among key stakeholders and experts. By pooling their collective experiences, EMERITUS and PERIVALLON aim to foster meaningful conclusions and insights that can inform their respective work.
Technical Collaboration Activities
Acknowledging the potential for shared resources and expertise, both projects have committed to also establishing a technical collaboration. This will involve the exchange of technological tools developed by each of the projects, data, and methodologies to enhance their capabilities in environmental monitoring, intelligence gathering, and law enforcement.
The journey of collaboration between EMERITUS and PERIVALLON has only just begun, and the upcoming months hold the promise of numerous achievements. As they continue to foster joint engagement and technical collaboration, these sister projects stand as a testament to the power of unity in addressing complex challenges. Stay tuned to this collaborative journey with the latest news from the two projects through: