Greenforce is a new voluntary informal European Union (EU) network of practitioners focused on the implementation of EU provisions in the field of nature and forestry. The Network has been established as an informal forum where representatives can share information and experience, discuss problems and offer each other practical advice. The Network’s main objective is to create the necessary impetus in the European Community to make progress on ensuring a more effective application of environmental legislation. It promotes the exchange of information and experience and the development of environmental legislation, with special emphasis on Community environmental acquis
. It provides the competent authorities (such as environmental inspectors and enforcement officers) with a framework within which to exchange ideas and encourages the development of enforcement structures and best practices and aims to support better co-operation between “nature” and “forestry” part of inspections. The creation of this Network builds on the idea that the implementation in the field of nature and forestry has not achieved the level of harmonisation in the EU Member States as the environmental inspection in the other – “standard” fields (such as air and water protection, etc…).
The first meeting of this Network took place in Brussels on 14th December 2005. It was agreed that one of the main goals of the Network’s activities is to facilitate the communication and exchange of experience in the practical implementation in both fields - nature and forestry. At this meeting the proposal for the Network working plan for 2006, submitted by the Czech representatives, was approved as the “Comparison Programme for Inspectors in Nature Protection” which should develop, a.o. an inspection methodology for Natura 2000 sites. As the objectives had been set by that the next step was to acquire a comprehensive idea of the different ways of handling certain aspects and functions of inspection in protected areas (within Natura 2000 sites as well as national categories of protected areas) in the EU Member States based on the knowledge and experience of the participants. The first task of the Working Group was to identify “who does what” in inspection as well as enforcement of nature/biodiversity conservation and forestry in the EU Member States and candidate countries and to identify other relevant issues related to the implementation of the Natura 2000. For this purpose the questionnaire for the Network representatives has been developed. The responses based on the questionnaire were combined with information presented by the Working Group members. These were then analysed by the Project Team and discussed step by step at workshops held in the Czech Republic and Sweden during the current period of the Programme (a total of fifty two participants from seventeen countries).
More information about the Greenforce activities can be found on the web page of the network http://ec.europa.eu/environment/greenforce/index_en.htm