The National Whistleblower Center’s Global Wildlife Whistleblower Program provides a confidential and completely secure online platform where individuals across the world can report wildlife crime, and then connects whistleblowers to attorneys who can help submit their reports to U.S. authorities and apply for rewards under appropriate U.S. laws. To learn more, click here. The Global Wildlife Whistleblower Program was a Grand Prize Winner of the Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge, an initiative of USAID in partnership with the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institution, and TRAFFIC.
After substantial outreach and advocacy, the National Whistleblower Center is proud to announce the re-introduction of the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act. This bill, introduced in the U.S. House and Representatives, would empower whistleblowers to report information about wildlife crime and strengthen the enforcement capacity of U.S. agents – a critical tool to stop the current wildlife extinction crisis.
About This Legislation
The Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act (H.R. 5697) is a bipartisan bill that was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU) in May 2018. It is co-sponsored by Chairman Emeritus of the House Natural Resources Committee, Rep. Don Young (R-AK).
This landmark anti-trafficking bill will radically increase wildlife crime enforcement and activate wildlife whistleblowers around the globe. The bill is endorsed by major conservation organizations including the World Wildlife Fund, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and the African Wildlife Foundation.
Read the bill summary here.
Q: What is the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act?
The Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Wildlife Trafficking Act is a bill that was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU) and the chairman emeritus of the House Natural Resources Committee, Rep. Don Young (R-AK). It is landmark, bipartisan legislation that will enhance the ability to detect and enforce wildlife crimes, assist in reversing the global extinction crisis.
Q: What does the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act do?
It will strengthen U.S. interagency coordination, capacity, and laws to better combat wildlife trafficking. Here are three reasons why this is such a powerful piece of legislation:
- It creates strong incentives for whistleblowers around the world to report trafficking crimes.
- It enhances the laws that can be used to prosecute wildlife traffickers and makes trafficking an organized crime criminal activity under the RICO and Travel Acts.
- It mandates that all of the fines and penalties collected from successful prosecutions be used for wildlife conservation efforts worldwide.
Q: How are whistleblowers protected under the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act?
The bill mandates confidentiality and anonymity for whistleblowers throughout the world, enabling them to safely report trafficking crimes. It incentivizes reporting by requiring rewards be paid to qualified whistleblowers whose original information results in a successful prosecution. Finally, it requires the responsible federal agencies to establish Whistleblower Offices to ensure whistleblower concerns are properly investigated and rewarded.
Q: How does the bill enhance enforcement?
The bill makes trafficking a predicate offense under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and Travel Act. RICO is the most powerful anti-corruption law in the United States that been successfully used to target and crush organized crime. Penalties recovered from successful prosecution under these laws are mandated to go directly into conservation efforts. This means that catching criminals will fund saving wildlife. With no expense to the tax-payer.
Q: How does the bill help wildlife conservation?
The law mandates that all the fines and penalties recovered from the traffickers be used solely for enhancing wildlife conservation worldwide. The law has the potential to generate millions of funds which can be invested in helping to protect and restore critically endangered species.