A 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
In 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
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
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.
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.”
On Tuesday, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs convened a panel discussion to examine the effects of transnational wildlife trafficking on U.S. security. During the hearing, Members of Congress and panelists discussed methods to combat and report cases of illegal ivory trade and wildlife trafficking. Specifically, panelists brought up efforts by the National Whistleblower Center to expose wildlife crime on social media platforms like Facebook.
THE HAGUE / WASHINGTON, D.C. | May 24th, 2018 — The Wildlife Justice Commission (WJC) and National Whistleblower Center (NWC) have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a framework for cooperation, develop joint endeavors, and exchange information with regards to transnational wildlife crime.
At the annual Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Reception, Capitol Hill got an up-close and personal view of just how important, and fascinating, biodiversity is to our planet. During the event, members of Congress spoke about wildlife trafficking and efforts to protect endangered species, and AZA representatives discussed how zoos and aquariums provide information about wildlife conservation to the public.
Whistleblower Law Expert Responds to GAO Report on Combating Wildlife Trafficking
Washington, D.C. May 8, 2018. In a report released today, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued wide-ranging recommendations to increase the effectiveness of paying informants and whistleblowers to report illegal wildlife trafficking. Continue Reading U.S. Government Accountability Office Urges Federal Government to Take Stronger Action to Promote Wildlife Crime Whistleblowers
Every day, park rangers and conservationists like Wayne Lotter, of PAMS Foundation Tanzania, risk their lives to fight against global wildlife trafficking. Too often, their stories end in tragedy. Over 1,000 rangers have been killed in the line of duty in the last 10 years. And last week, Lotter was shot and killed in Tanzania. These killings send a chilling message to anyone who dares to expose the criminals exploiting plants, fish, and animals all over the world.