During its first year of activities, the Centre for Information Gathering and Management at the State Environmental Protection Agency (VAAT) of Lithuania, established back in autumn of 2014, received over 11,000 reports on violations of environmental protection requirements, Lithuania's Ministry of Environment said.
© Šiaulių RAAD nuotr.

According to Deputy Environment Linas Jonauskas, "we refer to the Centre as a dispatching station of environmentalists; it meets every single expectation we have. We can see that the public appreciates both an opportunity to report on offenders around the clock, and rapid response of the environmentalists to the reports we receive".

Typically, people call the emergency number 112 in order to report any environmental violation and the operators of the Emergency Response Centre direct their report to the Centre immediately. The staff of the Centre also receives a number of reports using its direct number.

The reports received year round mainly (4,721 reports) concern incidents with wild animals. Environmental protection officers on duty can refer of dozens of instances when, having received a report, they managed to arrive on time and save an animal. The number of calls also suggests public intolerance of poachers as 1,469 reports concerned offenders of amateur fishery rules, while 419 calls reported violations of hunting requirements.

The public concern for the quality of the environment is growing too as 866 calls concerned aquatic and air pollution, 578 calls concerned incineration of waste, while 415 calls reported a failure to treat waste.

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