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.
On May 8, 2018, Representative Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU) and Don Young (R-AK), introduced H.R. 5697, the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act (WCATA) of 2018. The bipartisan bill will “support wildlife conservation, improve anti-trafficking enforcement, [and] provide dedicated funding for wildlife conservation at no expense to the taxpayer.” It includes critical whistleblower provisions necessary to incentivize informants to risk their careers (or their lives) to report trafficking.
Bill contains whistleblower protections, enhanced enforcement and restitution provisions
WASHINGTON, D.C. | MAY 8, 2018 — Today, Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU) and Rep. Don Young (R-AK) introduced the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act of 2018. This groundbreaking legislation enhances the ability of informants worldwide to detect and report wildlife crimes.
To learn more about the bill, visit the National Whistleblower Center’s website.
The National Whistleblower Center (NWC) and the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) hosted the second part of its seminar series on wildlife crime whistleblowers on March 28th, 2017. “Representing Wildlife Whistleblowers: Technical Skills for Lawyers” focused on wildlife crime prosecutions and the powerful U.S. laws that attorneys can use when helping whistleblowers report wildlife crime. These laws include not only wildlife protection laws such as the Endangered Species and Lacey Acts, but also creative application of the False Claims Act related to customs violations, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act to detect bribery at ports.
Last year, Steve Kohn informed the world about dormant whistleblower provisions in wildlife protection laws that, if activated, would effectively combat wildlife trafficking. While several branches of the U.S. government have committed to addressing trafficking activities that have pushed many iconic species such as tigers and elephants to the brink of extinction, federal agencies have yet to use all the tools available to them in this fight.
On February 9th the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), in partnership with the National Whistleblower Center, hosted the first seminar in a two-part series on wildlife whistleblowing. “Harnessing the Power of Whistleblowers: Combating Wildlife Crime” focused on the vital role that whistleblowers play in the fight against global wildlife trafficking. Panelists included Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of The National Whistleblower Center; Crawford Allan, Senior Director of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF); and Alexander (Sascha) Von Bismark Executive Director of the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA).