corruption TimberProtecting and incentivizing whistleblowers is essential to combat environmental crimes

The world is facing daunting environmental challenges, many exacerbated by corruption. A number of the planet’s protected species are disappearing rapidly, due in part to the illegal trade in flora and fauna, and corruption comes into play as traffickers often rely on fraudulent paperwork to move parts from endangered species and illegal timber across borders.

Preventing and combating corruption requires a comprehensive approach, but only in a climate of transparency, accountability and participation by all members of society is this possible.

The National Whistleblower Center (NWC), through its Global Wildlife Whistleblower Program, has used technology to create a confidential and secure transnational online reporting platform to encourage reports of wildlife trafficking and other environmental crimes. This platform provides a secure and completely confidential online platform where individuals across the world can report wildlife crime. According to the NWC incentivizing whistleblowers is essential to increasing the detection of these crimes. Whistleblowers worldwide may be eligible for financial rewards, under applicable U.S. laws, for reporting violations of laws that safeguard the planet’s protected species and sustainability.

“Whistleblowers remain the key source of information on fraud and corruption at home and abroad.  However, they still face retaliation in many countries around the world. We need to rally our efforts to ensure that whistleblowers are protected and empowered. The first step toward making that happen is to make sure whistleblowers and anti-corruption groups understand the tools they have available to them” said Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center.

Learn more about how incentivizing whistleblowers can combat wildlife crime:

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The NWC’s Global Wildlife Whistleblower Program, was named a Grand Prize Winner of the Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge, an initiative of USAID in partnership with the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institution and TRAFFIC.