Approaching the Grand Finale of DOTCOM Waste

This Blog offers a quick glimpse at the recent endeavours of the DOTCOM Waste project consortium, partnered by the United Nations University (Germany), Cross-border Research Association (Switzerland), Compliance & Risks (Ireland), TECOMS (Italy), Ports Environmental Network-Africa (Ghana), Basel Convention Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific (China), Basel Convention Regional Centre for West Africa (Nigeria), and the Public Prosecutor Office of Bari (Italy).


The two-year European Commission (DG HOME) funded project that kicked off in January 2016, seeks to enhance the capabilities of a range of governmental authorities, including police, customs, port authorities, environmental agencies and prosecution offices, to fight cross-border waste crime more effectively. To attain this goal, the project aims to increase stakeholders’ understanding of current waste crime trends as well as to identify and share good practices for detecting, investigating and prosecuting waste crime activities. Some key actions envisaged are the development of a targeted training toolkit, including training materials and practical operational tools, and the execution of training activities for relevant stakeholders.

DOTCOM Waste is now reaching its culmination as the knowledge accumulated throughout the project has morphed into a complete set of training materials, including live and online training seminars. Two separate face-to-face training sessions will take place this year in Rome (EU/West Africa routes) and Beijing (EU/China routes), in September and October respectively. The webinar series planned to take place in May and June, is underway. Six webinars have been scheduled so far and more may take place in the future, should the need arise. Experts may present either in English or in other languages in future webinars. Information on the training events were advertised on the DOTCOM website and circulated among the networks of the partners. Nearly 120 people registered for the first two webinars and there are 122 applications for the face-to-face training workshops. Applications are being reviewed for the final selection for the live training sessions. These events will target mixed groups of intermediate to high level practitioners, mostly from police, customs, port authorities, environmental agencies and prosecutors; while the webinar/ e-learning courses allows for the delivery of more basic training to a wider range of stakeholders.

The training toolkit for the face to face sessions will largely focus on a broad range of subjects including the Legislative Landscape; Waste Classification and Problematic Waste Streams; Inspection and Detection; Next Generation Compliance; Investigation; Intelligence; Illegal Shipments; Prosecution; Sentencing; and Interagency Collaboration and Networking. Each webinar intends to provide up to date insights on a separate topic, namely Intelligence in Fighting Waste Crime; Collaboration on Illegal Waste Crime; Financial Investigation in Tackling Waste Crime; Inspection Plans and Next Generation Compliance; Legislation on Transfrontier Shipments of Waste; and Using Remote Sensing Technologies when Fighting Illegal Waste Crime. A comprehensive Risk Analysis of waste crime, a systematic assessment of the current gaps in capacity building and training needs (Training Needs Assessment) of the stakeholder groups, as well as a compilation of a Compendium of Best Practices on waste crime response, led to the designing of the DOTCOM training toolkit and materials.

To maximise the output of the project, the training toolkit will also be made available online in a members-only section, vastly increasing the amount of people who will be able to access the training materials. These e-learning modules will reflect the content of the face-to-face training events and webinar content, and users will be able to easily navigate to any topics that they have a specific interest in.

A “Validation Meeting” was organised in Dublin in March this year to test the training toolkit and e-learning materials. A group of high-level experts with in-depth experience in training law enforcement officials and prosecutors was involved in the review of the materials. The DOTCOM consortium reviewed and amended the training package based on the new insights and feedback gained in this crucial expert meeting.

On May 1 2017, DOTCOM Waste hosted a side event at this year’s Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (COPs), in Geneva entitled, “Get the Tools You Need to Make a Difference – Global Training Toolkit + Waste & Chemicals Inspection App”. The participants were briefed on the main activities of the DOTCOM Waste project and received an overview of the online training toolkit on enforcing transboundary movements of waste regulations. There was also a demonstration of the new inspection application for environmental inspections called WATCH-IT.

The joint final conference of the DOTCOM Waste and BLOCKWASTE projects will be held in Brussels on 23 November 2017. In addition to presenting the results of the two EU Internal Security funded projects on illegal waste management and trafficking, the conference will promote interactive and constructive dialogue through round table discussions with contributions from experts. The conference aims to highlight concrete ways of addressing cross-border waste crime, while at the same time build on the valuable insights gained in the projects by keeping alive the spirit of collaboration and continuous process of finding new solutions.


31.5.2017, CBRA Blog by Dr. Sangeeta Mohanty


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