Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska has highlighted the "fundamental work" that the Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA) of the Civil Guard and all the Security Forces and Bodies in defense of our natural environment and the environment. Grande-Marlaska has valued this police activity in the closing of a conference on maritime pollution that have been held until Friday and led by the Civil Guard.
"The protection of the environment entails the existence of a specific legislation, criminal and administrative, that guarantees its preservation. However, these regulations would be useless without specialized and committed personnel to ensure compliance. That is where the security forces and bodies, developing a work in defense of our environment that is fundamental and for which we are so grateful, "said the minister.
The head of Interior has stressed that "the oceans receive up to 12 million tons of waste every year." "With the passage of time we have realized the danger posed by pollution with marine debris," he said.
Grande-Marlaska has valued "major initiatives" launched by the Government to combat pollution and climate change, and especially the activities developed by SEPRONA, which after more than 30 years of work "remains an example imitated worldwide, which has also managed to win the affection of citizens thanks to its involvement in the protection of goods as precious as nature and the environment. "
During these days the closing meeting of the operative action OA 2.5 of the EMPACT project on serious environmental crimes (European multidisciplinary platform against criminal threats) was held and the results of the operation "30 days at sea" against pollution were presented Marine.
Participants from 44 different countries have attended, as well as a representative from Europol, INTERPOL, FRONTEX and the PacCto project of the European Commission. These days are part of the International Week on investigation of environmental crime led by the SEPRONA of the Civil Guard.
The general director of the Civil Guard, María Gámez, during her speech at the opening ceremony of these days, said that "we must be fully aware of the need to protect the planet above any interest, because what is at stake it is our survival and that of future generations. "
Along the same lines, he recalled that "the Civil Guard takes care of nature from the very moment of its foundation, more than 175 years ago. That dedication was progressively developed with more zeal, training and professionalism, and in 1988 the Service of Protection of Nature, SEPRONA. A milestone, because it became the first environmental police in Europe and one of the most powerful in the world. "
He also stressed that "there are almost 2,000 troops in charge of the defense of the environment and its resources. Our off-road patrols are present in all corners of Spain, including less populated areas, and this Civil Guard unit contributes to training to prevent environmental crimes in the most diverse forums. The 110,000 complaints per year are exceeded and around 3,600 criminal investigations are carried out, with a result of 3,500 investigated or detained. "
Operational action OA 2.5 of the EMPACT environmental project
The closing meeting of the operative action OA 2.5 of the EMPACT project is part of the lines of action of the European Union in the fight against serious environmental crimes.
For this year 2020, in which this action is directed by FRONTEX and SEPRONA acts as co-director, it has been decided to focus efforts on waste traffic. To this end, the Civil Guard has carried out actions aimed at detecting and combating fraud associated with the management of batteries and accumulators at the end of its useful life.
Operation "30 days at sea 2.0"
The operation "30 days at sea 2.0" deals with the second edition of the project that INTERPOL starts on environmental matters.
This research, which aims to combat all types of marine pollution, has resulted in the best results worldwide, and with a greater number of countries involved.
Specifically, the Civil Guard has carried out more than 1,400 actions, which have resulted in various criminal investigations, in which 68 people have been arrested or investigated for crimes against the environment and natural resources, mainly by spills into the sea and waste traffic. Likewise, there have been records in ships, ports, businesses or contaminated maritime areas.
At an international level, Spain's role in the field of operations to combat organized crime related to the environment is highly recognized. More than 90% of contributions in this area to EUROPOL are contributed by the Civil Guard SEPRONA, being a reference in police operations also developed by INTERPOL, which insistently claims the presence of this specialty of the Civil Guard in its activities.