LIFE+ VENENO for fighting illegal use of poison in the environment

29 March 2012 | Article
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Since 2010, SEO / BirdLife, an IUCN Member, has worked on the LIFE+ project “Action in the fight against illegal poison use in the natural environment in Spain”, referred to as the VENENO project. The project aims to significantly reduce the illegal use of poisoned bait in natural environments of Spain which is one of the greatest threats to biodiversity. The main associated beneficiaries are the government of Castilla-La Mancha and the Fund for the Conservation of the Black Vulture.

The project has allowed placing the problem on the political agenda and in the media in the country.  To everyone involved in the fight against poison, LIFE+ VENENO  is making available specific tools to help address the issue. Thanks to this, more than 400 agents in five regions have improved their skills in investigating cases of illegal poison use which is expected to contribute to increased detection and resolution of cases and therefore a decrease in the impunity of the violators. This is also being achieved through an increased number of cases of illegal use of poison reaching the courts. So far there have been three convictions for illegal use of poison.

Furthermore, LIFE+ VENENO is working to identify solutions to other issues related to the illegal use of poison, such as improved control on the selling of the used substances or identifying solutions to avoid the damage caused by placing poisoned baits.

The project is funded by the European Commission's LIFE Programme, as well as by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Fundación Biodiversidad (Biodiversity Foundation), the Cabildo of Fuerteventura, the Government of Cantabria and Andalusia.

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