The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) organized a regional workshop to build the capacity of customs authorities from Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the South Caucasus in detecting the illegal trafficking of hazardous waste, pesticides, ozone-depleting substances and endangered plants and animals.
The workshop, which many participants were able to attend remotely, took place in Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine, from 30 September - 1 October 2014. It was organized within the framework of the Environment and Security (ENVSEC) Initiative, and was part of a series of workshops to build the capacity of customs, border and environmental authorities in detecting and preventing environmental crimes.
Event participants noted the importance of detecting illegally traded goods to prevent environmental crimes and to protect the environment and people's health. They shared experiences, good practices and lessons learnt. On 2 October, a training course was held on how to use specially-trained sniffer dogs to detect rare and endangered animals and plants and their derivatives.
The OSCE assists participating States with the sustainable use and sound management of natural resources. It supports projects to improve water management, deal with soil degradation and dispose safely of toxic and radioactive waste. It works to raise environmental awareness and promote public participation in environmental decision-making as well as the recognition of the links between environmental issues and security. The OSCE is comprised of 57 participating States from Europe, Central Asia and North America.