The Balearic ministry of the environment, headed by Margalida Rossello of Els Verds (the Greens) plans to set up a special body of Environmental Agents to investigate possible offences against the environment. This was announced by Rossello after a meeting with Adrian Salazar, the prosecuting attorney for environmental affairs at the Balearic court and his Catalan counterpart Joaquin Perez, who had been holding a one-day seminar for ministry staff on environmental matters. The new body will have 52 agents, most of whom are already working for the ministry as forest guards. Rossello said that better co-ordination with the courts was essential in fighting offences involving the environment. This collaboration, she said, will lead to bigger fines against offenders who act illegally in natural or protected spaces. She said that in many cases, it is known that the damage has been caused deliberately but they do not always know who caused it. The minister added that last year her department opened 770 cases involving environmental infractions although only ten per cent of them reached the courts. Fighting environmental offences should be common to all the administrations, Rosselló said, adding that her department is working on a series of laws to be put before the Balearic parliament in the near future. She added that the Balearics does not have any environmental legislation as such, apart from the law on natural spaces. The new body of inspectors, she added, would act as police in all the areas for which the ministry is responsible which include forestry, conservation of the fauna and flora, water tables and the coastline.


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