Wildlife Whistleblowers

Laws on the books designed to protect wildlife whistleblowers have been underutilized, according to a spring report from the Government Accounting Office.  Now, two groups devoted to wildlife protection have joined with the National Whistleblower Center to help ensure that U.S. agencies use the tools they have to protect animals and fisheries and prevent trafficking.

Thinking Animals United is an advocacy group that works “to galvanize worldwide support for the care, protection, and conservation of animals and other species.”  It has signed an agreement with the NWC to “develop joint endeavors, and exchange information with regards to addressing the relationship between environmental crime, economic growth, and national security,” according to a statement from the two groups. Continue Reading Wildlife whistleblowers and advocates collaborate to “strengthen capacity to implement and enforce environmental requirements.”

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. Continue Reading Corruption: Planet earth is being sold out

Fresh water turtlesA recent investigation into wildlife trafficking highlights the importance of improving whistleblower incentives in the wildlife crimes sphere. Through “Operation Dragon,” the Wildlife Justice Commission (“WJC”) investigated the ties between the trafficking of endangered and CITES-listed freshwater turtles and the corruption that facilitates that illicit trade. Over the course of two years, WJC used undercover investigators to document operations of eight major trafficking networks in South Asia and the corrupt customs and transportation officials that consistently enabled the trafficking. The investigation allowed law enforcement to significantly disrupt these networks, arresting 30 individuals and seizing over 6,000 freshwater turtles. Wholesale value for a batch of 6,000 averages $3 million. Continue Reading As Anti-Corruption Day Approaches, WJC Report Reminds Us of the Importance of Whistleblower Incentives

Vaquita-loaded-in-truck-whistleblower program not implemented U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service unable to account for millions of dollars Congress allocated to pay whistleblower incentives.

According to an exposé by environmental journalist Richard Schiffman published today by  Earth Island Journal, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has no “proactive whistleblower program despite receiving $13 million” from the federal government earmarked to pay whistleblower incentive rewards. The report states that in response to a Freedom of Information Act Request (FOIA) filed by the National Whistleblower Center, the FWS admitted that it is unable to account for most of the funds Congress allocated for this purpose. Requested records found that the agency can only account for $13,704 of the $5.6 million granted to it during the period between 2003 and 2016. Continue Reading Failure to Implement Whistleblower Program Linked to the Vaquita’s Impending Extinction

Wildlife whistleblowersThe International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE) was formed in 1989 by the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency and the Netherlands’ Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment on the need for greater collaboration between environmental compliance and enforcement actors globally. To date, it remains the only global organization focused exclusively on improving compliance with environmental law through effective compliance promotion and enforcement at all levels of governance. By partnering with the National Whistleblower Center, INECE hopes to help address the relationship between environmental crime, economic growth, and national security. Continue Reading Knowledge exchange at the forefront of environmental law enforcement

National Whistleblower Center urges denial of destruction of documents On October 24, 2018, the Department of Interior (DOI) sent a request to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) asking for permission to destroy documents from every agency within the Department of Interior. These agencies include the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Geological Survey, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and others. The National Whistleblower Center (NWC) says this request should be denied. Continue Reading National Whistleblower Center Urges Denial of Department of Interior Document Destruction Request

sea-turtle-swimming-in-the-oceanWhistleblowers is our last line of defense to protect our oceans. As the “Our Ocean Conference 2018” (OOC 2018) is set to open tomorrow in Bali, Indonesia, the National Whistleblower Center (NWC) hopes to bring awareness about the important role whistleblowers can play in the detection of illegal fishing and marine pollution. Continue Reading Calling on Whistleblowers to Help Protect Our Oceans

Facebook-iconIn a letter delivered to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, the National Whistleblower Center (“NWC”) requested that Facebook immediately start cooperating with the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) efforts to investigate and halt wildlife trafficking. Continue Reading Facebook Uncooperative in DOJ Wildlife Trafficking Investigations

Grey-rhino-in-the-wildToday, September 22, is World Rhino Day. Rhino numbers have declined dramatically over recent years as a result of poaching for their horns, which is believed to have medicinal value in some Asian countries. Whistleblower reward laws are a crucial tool for halting illegal wildlife poaching and trafficking, and can be especially important to protecting rhinos.

Supporting whistleblowers can serve as an effective tactic in fighting illegal wildlife trafficking, poaching, and deforestation. Whistleblower provisions in the Lacey Act and the Endangered Species Act, as well as others, incentivize whistleblowers to come forward with information, such as tips about wildlife trafficking, by providing monetary rewards to the whistleblower. Continue Reading Incentivizing Whistleblowers Can Help Combat Trafficking of Rhino Horn

International-fund-for-animal-welfare-logoIn the region of East Africa, poachers are slaughtering elephants at a rate faster than these elephants can reproduce. In fact, thousands of elephants are cruelly killed each year to meet the seemingly insatiable demand for ivory.   The people and communities that live closest to these majestic animals pay a high price as a result of this illegal activity.  This is just one example of the critically urgent need to protect animals from illegal killing and to protect those brave enough to come forward with information to stop this wildlife crime before it happens.  Continue Reading The Role of Whistleblower Protections in Wildlife Conservation