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11-12 June 2024 ESA-ESRIN, Frascati, Italy

Environmental Crimes workshop 2024


Environmental crime is growing at annual rates of 5% to 7% globally. Countering environmental crime is complex  as it is often perpetrated by criminal organizations operating across borders. It also spans a broad range of activities, such as illegal waste management and shipment, illegal logging and trade in timber, illegal water abstraction, pollution, habitats destruction and wildlife trafficking.

Combatting environmental crime often requires international cooperation, not only to roll up international networks, put also to account for differing legal frameworks, enforcement mechanisms, and priorities among countries. The European Union recently adopted a new directive to improve the effectiveness of criminal law enforcement and help achieve European Green Deal objectives by fighting against the most serious environmental offences.

Detecting, investigating, and prosecuting environmental crime require high-quality documentation and evidence. New technologies and methods to detect and analyze environmental changes can play a key role here. The last years have witnessed transformative developments in Earth Observation, particularly from satellite-based platforms, leading to data streams of increased spatial, spectral, and temporal detail. Earth Observation-based intelligence provides obvious benefits to environmental crime investigations greatly strengthening monitoring and inspection capacity. However, it also brings particular challenges such as concerns about data privacy, data quality and availability issues, as well as legal constraints related to the admissibility of geospatial-based evidence in court.

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European Space Agency and the JRC role

This workshop is a joint initiative of ESA and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission to foster a greater uptake of Earth Observation technology in environmental compliance assurance.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has been at the forefront of exploring new capabilities to integrate EO-derived information more systematically into environmental crime investigations. The aim is to improve the identification of illegal activities and ensure the effective incorporation of EO information into intelligence models used by investigative teams, leveraging key technologies and innovative processing techniques. The effort contributes to maintaining Europe’s international leadership in ensuring safety and security for citizens, and fostering enhanced regional and international cooperation on security priorities. 

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission provides independent evidence and knowledge to ground European policy in science. The European Commission aims to step up the implementation and enforcement of EU environmental legislation. To help achieve this, the JRC researches and supports the use of geospatial intelligence in environmental compliance assurance. The Knowledge Centre on Earth Observation at the JRC is conducting a deep dive assessment on the use of Earth Observation for Compliance Assurance across various EU policy sectors.


The workshop aims to:

  • Identify and review methods enabled by geospatial data sources, and particularly Earth Observation, to support better detection and characterization of environmental crimes and their consequences.
  • Enhance awareness of the latest developments in geospatial and open source intelligence in the context of multidisciplinary evidence collection to assure environmental compliance.
  • Identify gaps in administrative capacity or expertise among enforcement authorities.
  • Collect insights on priority areas to improve the integration of EO capabilities in intelligence workflows and protocols for environmental crime investigations.
  • Aligning with stakeholders’ agenda, highlight the importance of developing crime-countering strategies that are evidence-based and data-driven, addressing both the root causes of crime and its environmental, societal and economic dimensions.
  • Inform the definition of requirements for Earth Observation and other geospatial products and services supporting environmental crime investigations.
  • Outline a way forward to implement new solutions for a wider uptake of EO into investigations of environmental crimes within the ESA-JRC cooperation activities.

Target Audience

This workshop is intended for researchers, governmental and non-governmental organizations, investigative teams, legal bodies, and international agencies that develop or use Earth Observation for environmental compliance assurance, and particularly enforcement activities.

Possible participants:

International organizations
National police forces, prosecutors, judges, inspectors and their networks
Environmental monitoring or protection agencies and the Earth Observation or Space agencies they work with
Industries and research centers working in the area of the workshop
The workshop will be hosted at the ESA – ESRIN, Frascati (Italy), as an in-person meeting, with the possibility to follow the workshop remotely.

Thematic Areas

The workshop will be structured around the main aspects of environmental compliance assurance : promotion, monitoring, enforcement, and rehabilitation.
Abstracts should be submitted indicating one of these four areas.


EO technology serves as a powerful tool for raising businesses’ and duty-holders’ awareness of their compliance with environmental regulations by offering insights into the impact of their operations on the environment. For instance, EO data can help assess greenhouse gas emissions, land usage, water pollution levels, resources exploitation. This EO-derived data facilitates informed decision-making for running environmentally compliant operations. Presentations on EO-driven ‘preventive’ measures should be submitted within this thematic area.


Space technology can help assess and detect non-compliance with environmental regulations. Various types of sensors deployed in space offer extensive monitoring capabilities. For instance, hyperspectral sensors can be used to measure atmospheric pollution, thermal infrared sensors to identify deforestation fires, optical sensors to detect wildlife poaching, and SAR sensors to track illegal fishing activities and oil spills, among others. Such data can provide solid evidence for enforcement in inspections, investigations, examination of public complaints. Presentations on EO-enabled ‘diagnostics’ should be submitted within this thematic area.


Enforcement provides the means to stopping non-compliance with environmental rules, applying sanctions, and repairing environmental damage. It covers, amongst other things, official warnings, cease-and-desist orders, administrative or criminal proceedings, application of sanctions, and demands to take remedial action. Presentations on EO-backed ‘corrective’ measures should be submitted within this thematic area. 


Damage rectification required by enforcement actions can be monitored using EO data. Reduced pollutant emission levels, reforestation and the cleanup of oil spills can be analysed through EO.  Presentations on EO-supported ‘remedial’ measures should be submitted within this thematic area.



A dedicated ppt conference template (in 16:9) is available HERE (not mandatory) for the download in support to the oral presenters


Presenters are allocated a 20-minute slot each, which includes 2 minutes for Q&A. We therefore expect that your presentation does not exceed 15 minutes, as the chairs will have to be strict to keep the schedule.
Presenters are kindly requested to upload their presentations on the dedicated laptop in the speaker-ready area located in the conference room (Big Hall), a Technician and a member of the Organising Team will be present to assist during the process.
Presentations will have to be uploaded via USB memory stick during the breaks, at least 30 minutes before the session starts.

Before doing so, please check the online program for the following information:

  • Date of the presentation 
  • Title of the session 
  • Order of the presentation (e.g. 1st, 2d, 3d….) 

File name convention and format

Please name your presentation file as follows:

  • Presentation ID number
  • Presenter Last name

AbstractID_Lastname.file eg.<“101_Brown.ppt”>

For each accepted contribution you can upload one file (max 230MB) as ppt, pptx or pdf. The suggested format for presentation is 16:9. Presenters are advised to check prior to their session start if formulas/animations/videos are shown correctly.
Please ensure you are in the session room at least 30 minutes before the session begins to meet with the session chairs, who will be near the stage.
The presenters must change the slides with the “slide advance device” placed on the podium. Any presentation from personal laptops is not allowed to ensure a smooth program running and minimise the transition time between presentations.

Following the event, the presentations may be published online.

Should you NOT want your presentation to be published, kindly advise the workshop oraniser in this respect.


Content: Posters should meet the workshop objectives in the relevant thematic areas and may present research results or research plans.

The required poster size is A0, portrait orientation.
Poster width should not exceed 90 cm (36″) height should not exceed 122 cm (48″).

Poster authors are expected to present their posters to the scientific community on the 11th of June during the Poster session and the welcome drink.
Please take the opportunity to read other posters and exchange contact information.

Poster presenters should bring their posters already printed. No printing of the posters will be possible onsite. All posters should be mounted before the poster session and welcome drink starts on 11/06. Material for mounting the posters will be provided at the poster session area.
Please check that your poster is located on the correct board. The poster list will be available nearby the poster panels.
All the posters should be dismounted by lunch time on the 12th June.

Printing Services in the Frascati Area

The posters can also be printed through some printing services in Frascati to avoid carrying the poster on the airplane. If the poster authors would like to print their portrait A0 posters, they can refer to the shops below that offer A0 color printing services:

The Abstract submission interface is now CLOSED.


Participation in the oral and poster programme will be decided by the Organising Committee following the review of submitted abstracts.

To confirm your physical participation to the workshop, you are kindly requested to register as soon as possible HERE, the registration possibility will close on 03 June 2024 at 23:59 (CET).
If you are not physically participating but will follow the workshop remotely, please do not registrate. The link to follow the workshop remotely, will be on the website closer to the event.
No participation fees will be charged. Participants are expected to finance their own travel and accommodation expenses.
The official language of the workshop is English.

The Phi-Experience
We are also organising a guided tour on the 11th and 12th June during the lunch breaks at the Earth observation multimedia centre, comprising an Earth data visualisation centre, called the Φ-Experience, for those who would be interested to participate.

Schedule and Deadlines

Abstract submission opening05 February 2024
Abstract submission closing21 April 2024
Notification of acceptance15 May 2024
Issue of Preliminary Programme15 May 2024
Registration Opening15 May 2024
Registration Closing 03 June 2024
Issue of Final Programmeat the workshop
Workshop11 – 12 June 2024

Programme Committee

Pieter Beck


Corentin Bolyn


Gordon Campbell

European Space Agency – ESA

Giovanni Caudullo


Maria Michela Corvino

European Space Agency – ESA

Federico Filipponi


Rui Meneses


Elena Morando

European Space Agency – ESA

Kenji Ose


Maiken Ristmae

European Space Agency – ESA

Zoltan Szantoi

European Space Agency – ESA

Thibault Taillade

European Space Agency – ESA

Alessandra Tassa

European Space Agency – ESA

Christelle Vancutsem



Largo Galielio Galilei n. 1
00044 Frascati,

Contact info

For information regarding the submissions, author instructions, scientific committee related inquiries please contact
For information regarding the logistics of the venue place, support with logistics booking and registration please contact