Broadly speaking, the Nature Protection Team within the Compliance and Enforcement Directorate is responsible for enforcing the wide array of nature protection legislation comprising international, regional and domestic legislation, for which the Environment and Resources Authority has been designated as the Competent Authority. Such legislation may be broadly categorised firstly into that dealing specifically with the protection of species and the protection of habitats and secondly, legislation that has more overarching and cross-cutting characteristics, such as that which regulates tree protection, the control of alien species or biota that may endanger the biological identity of the Maltese Islands and the control of Genetically Modified Organisms. The function of the Team is primarily to conduct effective pro-active and reactive enforcement operations in order to serve as a deterrent for environmental crime and to investigate, disclose, and initiate legal action against such crime when it occurs. The following sections detail the regulations enforced and the roles and responsibilities assigned in order to carry out the above-mentioned broad functions: