Whistleblowers have been effective at combatting financial and corporate crime, but are sorely lacking in the sphere of wildlife crime. If empowered to combat it, whistleblowers could be fundamental to dismantling the wildlife crime economy, writes Scott Hajost, Managing Director, Global Wildlife Whistleblower Program, National Whistleblower Center. Continue Reading Empowering whistleblowers is the key to combating wildlife crime
Today, July 29th, marks Global Tiger Day. It is a day to celebrate this unique apex predator, but also to remember that tigers around the globe are under threat. The IUCN Red List includes several subspecies of tiger as endangered or vulnerable, and tiger numbers have declined from an estimated 100,000 in 1990 to under 4,000 today.
The three primary causes of the decline in wild tiger populations are poaching, trafficking, and habitat loss. Tiger products, which are falsely considered by some to have medicinal benefits, and are also seen as a status symbol, are in high demand on the black market. This demand continues to drive poaching and trafficking. At the same time, tiger habitats are being destroyed due to forest clearing of forests and fragmentation of habitats from human development.
This Tuesday, the United States Institute of Peace hosted a bipartisan congressional dialogue featuring Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations committee. The dialogue focused on addressing the key steps and challenges in tackling illegal wildlife poaching and trafficking. The dialogue also highlighted that this illicit trade is a source of terrorist funding.
On July 14, 1960, Jane Goodall first stepped foot in Gombe Stream National Park. Over the past 58 years, Goodall has taught humans around the world to understand, care about, and help chimpanzees. For this reason, July 14th is marked as World Chimpanzee Day.
Today, our closest biological cousin is an endangered species.
Since 2015, chimpanzees have been classified as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service. Today, only 172,700 to 299,700 chimps are believed to remain; the population of western chimpanzees has decreased about 80% over the past quarter century. Human activities, including poaching, have been central to the precipitous drop in population. Not only are chimps slaughtered for bush meat, which is sold for profit in local marketplaces, but infant chimps are also kidnapped to be sold as pets. Other forms of human interaction with the environment such as logging have been detrimental to chimpanzee populations as they lead to habitat destruction.
WASHINGTON, D.C. | July 5th, 2018—A group rallied outside the Embassy of Mexico on Thursday morning, urging the Mexican government to protect the vaquita, a porpoise native to the country’s waters. Representatives from the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), and other concerned persons braved the blistering summer weather and joined forces to shed light on the rapidly declining population of the rare porpoise. Signs with phrases such as SAVE THE VAQUITA and FEWER THAN 30 LEFT, written in both Spanish and English, were held by the group, who wore shirts reading “Extinction is Forever.” Some members of the rally took to the street with signs raised above their heads, trying to grab the attention of passing cars.
A great strength of the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act of 2018 (H.R. 5697) is that it integrates innovative mechanisms for combating the illicit wildlife trade with preexisting wildlife protection methods. This post will explain how frontline enforcement innovations can bolster traditional conservation strategies.
Regulators and law enforcement must treat the illegal wildlife trade as a financial crime, argues Standard Chartered Bank in a recent bulletin.
“Approaches to tackling this trade have been limited by too-narrow a conception of it as a conservation issue,” it states. “Efforts to date have concentrated on the supply-side response. This is changing.”
What do Atlanta teachers, crooked investors, mafiosos, and Mexican cartel members all have in common? The answer: all were indicted under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
This is a multi-part series on the Whistleblower Protection Blog covering the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act of 2018.
Whistleblowers are a key component of fighting fraud and corruption. From securities to regulations to wildlife trafficking, whistleblowers help report, investigate, and prosecute those who fail to follow the rules. The National Whistleblower Center has more than 30 years of history advocating for whistleblowers and strongly supports the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act of 2018 (H.R. 5697), a bill which will protect species under threat by expanding protections and rewards for wildlife whistleblowers.
WASHINGTON, D.C. | June 13, 2018 — The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and National Whistleblower Center (NWC) have signed a strategic cooperative agreement to further advance efforts in combating wildlife trafficking around the globe. IFAW and NWC will work in tandem to leverage NWC’s Global Wildlife Whistleblower Program by integrating into locations where the threat of corruption is most concentrated, including transnational borders and international air and shipping ports.