WildLeak.org

WildLeaks.org
WildLeaks is the first, secure, online whistleblower platform dedicated to Wildlife & Forest Crime. The Mission of WildLeaks is to receive and evaluate anonymous information regarding Wildlife & Forest Crimes and transform it into actionable items.

What is WildLife Crime  
 
According to Global Financial Integrity, a Washington watchdog group, wildlife crime is the 4th largest transnational crime in the world, worth an estimate US$ 17 billion annually, after narcotics, counterfeiting, and human trafficking (Transnational Crime In The Developing World, 2011). Offences like poaching, trafficking in live or dead endangered animals and illegal logging, are complex phenomena where a variety of factors interact – cultural, social, economic and environmental – and often involve different actors. The causes and the consequences of wildlife crime vary among countries, areas and local communities, but it always threatens the existence of many plant and animal species, hinders sustainable social and economic development, and has destabilizing effects on society.

Poaching

Wildlife crime is now the most immediate threat to several species including elephants, rhinos, big cats like tigers and lions, apes, pangolins, reptiles and birds, among many others. This illegal trade is driven by demand for ivory, horn, bones, scales and other parts for carving, ornaments, luxury items, and traditional Asian medicines, trophies, wild bushmeat and even live animals for pets and zoos. Especially ivory and rhino horn traffic increasingly involves organized crime syndicates, and in some cases rebel militia and terrorist groups, with a very heavy Human Toll.

Find more information about Wildlife Crime here.

Illegal Logging

Forest crime, which is the illegal logging and the international trade in illegally logged timber, is also a very devastating and complex issue. It degrades forests, destroys wildlife habitats and threatens biodiversity. For example, illegal logging is threatening the survival of elephants in Central Africa and of populations of some of the world’s most endangered primates, including orang-utans in Indonesia.Illegal logging also has a significant Human Toll as it impedes sustainable development in some of the poorest countries of the world. It costs governments billions of dollars, promotes corruption, and funds armed conflict. Finally, forest loss also has implications for climate change.

A research by Chatham House (Lawson & MacFaul 2010) concluded that illegal harvesting represented 35-72% of logging in the Brazilian Amazon, 22-35% in Cameroon, 59-65% in Ghana, 40-61% in Indonesia and 14-25% in Malaysia. Extrapolating from these figures, it was estimated that more than 100 million cubic meters of timber are harvested illegally each year. Some reports have estimated as much as US$17 billion dollars’ worth of illegal trade flows only from the East Asia Pacific region.

The causes of illegal logging are various, including weak institutions and regulation, limited resources and poor law enforcement and border controls. However, consumer countries contribute a lot to these problems by importing timber without ensuring that they are legally sourced. This situation is finally slowly changing, with legislation in Europe, the U.S. and Australia, barring the import of illegal timber and wood products.

Find more information about Forest Crime
here.

Unfortunately for most countries, combating wildlife & forest crime is not a priority and it almost always remains overlooked and poorly understood. Wildlife offences enrich international criminal groups and enable corruption to flourish. Fraud, counterfeiting, money laundering and violence are often found in combination with various forms of wildlife crime. The risk involved is low compared to other kinds of trafficking, like drugs, but the profits are very high. It’s now clear that wildlife trafficking has wide national and international security implications, but governments tend to see the problem as just an environmental issue and the global fight against wildlife crime is failing.

As INTERPOL notes, the role of independent NGOs and activists remains crucial: “the next big step must be to bridge the divisions that separate law enforcement agencies from the public, the activists, the academics, and the policy makers. If we, the international community, are committed to the conservation of the world’s environment, biodiversity, and natural resources, all five elements must work together in harmony” (INTERPOL, Environmental Crime Programme, 2009).

Who We Are   
WildLeaks.org  is managed by a small group of people that includes a project leader and a few project managers and key advisors.Only this group receives and manages the information submitted to WildLeaks.org   

Project Leader & Founder Andrea Crosta
Andrea has 25 years of experience in conservation & research projects all over the world, and 15 years of experience in high-level security & risk management. He is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the California based Elephant Action League (EAL) and since 1989 he has been involved in a variety of conservation projects in Africa, Asia, South America and Europe. He was a part of the 2-man team that uncovered the link between the ivory trade and the Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab. Andrea has also a business career and for over 15 years he has been working as an international consultant to companies and governmental agencies on high-end security services, homeland security, investigation and risk management, a unique knowledge that he also applies to conservation and wildlife protection. 
In 1998, he founded ‘Think Italy’, one of the very first e-commerce companies in Italy. He holds a Master Degree in Natural Sciences, a Master Degree in Business & Innovation and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.

Project Managers & Advisors  Pauline Verheij  
Pauline is an environmental lawyer specialized in the investigation and prosecution of transnational environmental and wildlife crime, particularly violations of CITES (Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora).  Between 2001 and 2009 Pauline has worked as a legal advisor with the Dutch police’s serious environmental crime unit and as a wildlife crime policy advisor with the Dutch public prosecutors office. In 2009 she joined TRAFFIC/WWF where, based in Malaysia, she coordinated their activities to combat illegal tiger trade. In 2012 she started her own consultancy,  EcoJust, where she advises NGOs and (inter-)governmental organizations on issues related to the implementation and enforcement of (international) biodiversity law. She is in the Advisory Boards of the Elephant Action League and Global Eye and in the Board of the Moroccan Primate Conservation foundation.

Fiona Macleod
Fiona, a pioneering South African environmental journalist, is the head of the  Oxpeckers Center, Africa’s first journalistic investigation unit focusing on environmental issues. She worked as an award-winning journalist and editor at a range of the region’s top media.   She served as environmental editor at the Mail & Guardian newspaper for 10 years, and was awarded the prestigious Nick Steele award recognising her contributions to environmental conservation through her pioneering reportage.
 She is currently still the editor of the M&G Greening the Future and the M&G Investing in the Future CSI/R awards programmes. She is also a member of the judging panel of the eta Awards, which showcase efficient use of energy.

Fiachra Kearney  
Specializing in tackling wildlife and human trafficking, Fiachra holds an Master of Science in Conservation Biology and has an extensive background in intelligence, investigations and security operations across Africa and S.E. Asia. Former Head of Africa for a discrete private security firm, he has also worked with the Australian & South African Governments, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the African Wildlife Foundation.  He is the founder and now CEO of Global Eye, a world-wide initiative designed to challenge the accepted norms in preventing wildlife and human trafficking. Fiachra has spent 21 years living and working in Africa, S.E. Asia and the Middle East.

WildLeaks.org

 

 

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