IUCN NL partner ELI publishes report on wildlife crime whistleblower initiative
Our partner organization Earth League International (ELI) just published a report on WildLeaks, the world's first whistleblower initiative dedicated to environmental crime. Most crucial information about wildlife crime, and environmental crime in general, is in the hands of untapped sources all around the world, both inside and outside the criminal networks facilitating wildlife crimes. Launched in 2014, WildLeaks provides a safe and anonymous online platform where anyone can share this crucial information securely with very limited personal risk.
Information received through WildLeaks can be used by ELI and its trusted partners, including law enforcement agencies, for further investigation and to facilitate the identification, arrest, and prosecution of criminals, traffickers, businessmen, and corrupt governmental officials behind the poaching and trafficking of wildlife, illegal fishing and illegal logging.
The report introduces the reader to whistleblowing in the context of environmental crime. It provides a summary of existing legal framework for the protection of wildlife whistleblowers, introduces the reader to WildLeaks and highlights the crucial role whistleblowers could play in fighting wildlife crime. It also lists the most interesting leaks and submissions received so far.
The purpose of the report is to raise awareness of the potential of the WildLeaks platform. Andrea Crosta, co-founder of ELI, says: ‘Wildlife crime very often goes undetected and unchallenged because people do not or cannot speak up about it. Whistleblowers can play a crucial role in fighting back, creating awareness, and contributing to justice. With this report, we hope to show the potential of WildLeaks and to recruit new partners to massively launch the project around the world.’
IUCN NL and ELI’s joint project: Operation Jaguar
IUCN NL works with ELI on the project Operation Jaguar. With this project we want to put an end to poaching and illegal trade in jaguars. Although it is a protected species, in countries like Bolivia, Suriname and Guyana, jaguars are increasingly being poached for their fangs, bones and other body parts. By exposing criminal networks, and by improving investigation and prosecution by authorities, we want to combat this wildlife crime.
The WildLeaks platform can support us in this. Liliana Jauregui, project leader of Operation Jaguar, says: ‘Many potential sources of information about poaching and illegal trade in jaguars are not willing to share information for many reasons, but primarily out of fear for their own personal security, as well as a lack of trust in local authorities. The WildLeaks initiative therefore has great potential in enabling whistleblowers to support us in fighting back against this wildlife crime.’
Operation Jaguar is a joint project of IUCN NL, IFAW, Earth League International and ARTIS. The project is made possible by the Dutch Postcode Lottery.