WildLeaks, the world’s first wildlife crime whistleblower initiative turns one year old!
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The project is now entering an expanded phase of operation and is extending its outreach to every corner of the globe. In this, it invites participation from around the world to help fighting wildlife crime.
WildLeaks is a not-for-profit collaborative project funded by the California-based Elephant Action League (EAL) and managed in collaboration with experienced individuals, including directors of environmental NGOs, environmental lawyers, accredited journalists, security professionals and ex-law enforcement officers.
Its mission is to collect confidential information about serious wildlife crimes and transform them into concrete, actionable actions.
“Our first priorities are to prevent wildlife crime and to facilitate the identification, arrest and prosecution of criminals and corrupt governmental officials behind the poaching and trafficking of endangered species such as elephants, rhinos, big cats, apes, pangolins and birds, as well as forest products, without forgetting the associated human toll.” said Mr. Andrea Crosta, founder of Elephant Action League and WildLeaks. “But we also put a lot of effort into protecting the people who chose to send us information, not only by providing a state-of-the-art secure system but also by managing and using the information in the correct way”.
The submission system of the online platform of WildLeaks is entirely based on the Tor technology, which allows people to provide information securely and anonymously.
WildLeaks has been named among the 2014 Nominet Trust 100 (NT100) – a global list of the 100 most inspiring tech ventures from around the world. http://socialtech.
Mr. Crosta added: “serious wildlife crimes like ivory trafficking, rhino poaching or illegal logging very often go undetected and unchallenged when people do not speak up about them, and whistleblowers can play a crucial role in fighting back, creating awareness and supporting justice.”
Since its launch in February 2014 WildLeaks collected online and offline over 70 leaks and leads, started three field investigations in Africa and Asia and shared confidential information with other NGOs and with a few law enforcement agencies.
The information received so far include:
- elephant poaching in Africa;
- ivory trafficking in Eastern Africa and Hong Kong;
- the poaching of Sumatran tigers;
- illegal lion and leopard trophy hunting in Mozambique and South Africa;
- illegal killing of wolves around Yellowstone National Park;
- illegal traffic of parrots from Africa;
- chimpanzee trafficking in Liberia;
- the importing of illegal African wildlife products into the U.S.;
- illegal logging in Mexico, Argentina, Malawi, and Siberia
- illegal sale of wildlife products online
Photo credit: Elephant Action League