WASHINGTON, D.C. | JUNE 13, 2018 — The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and National Whistleblower Center (NWC) have signed a strategic cooperative agreement to further advance efforts in combating wildlife trafficking around the globe. IFAW and NWC will work in tandem to leverage NWC’s Global Wildlife Whistleblower Program by integrating into locations where the threat of corruption is most concentrated, including transnational borders and international air and shipping ports.
NWC’s Global Wildlife Whistleblower Program aims to leverage powerful U.S. legal tools to incentivize whistleblowers around the globe to step forward with information on wildlife crime. Through its partnership with IFAW, NWC will assist in reviewing information and screening for potential wildlife crime cases under U.S. whistleblower laws including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, False Claims Act, and Lacey and Endangered Species Acts.
IFAW partners with local communities, frontline law enforcement and agency officials in areas where wildlife face threats from trafficking, by building a network that increases wildlife security across vast landscapes. IFAW’s approach includes leveraging experts, like NWC, with specialized capabilities to assist in reducing these treats, disrupting wildlife crime or building other capacity as needed.
Earlier this year, IFAW organized a US Department of State funded cross-border wildlife security training on the Kenya/Tanzania border. Bringing together 38 front line enforcement officers from both countries, representing seven different agencies, the training focused on a broad range of countermeasures to wildlife trafficking and other threats. IFAW invited NWC Executive Director Stephen M. Kohn, Esq. to lead an innovative training module on applying whistleblower laws to help wildlife authorities, customs and police identify, deter and counter corruption involving wildlife crime in East Africa. Through these collaborative efforts, and future cooperation, IFAW and NWC will continue working to disrupt the wildlife crime supply chain.
“There is no single panacea to ending wildlife crime or a one-size-fits-all approach. To truly deter, disrupt and dismantle wildlife crime requires persistent and coordinated multi-agency approaches that are tailored to the specific threat environment,” says Faye Cuevas, Senior Vice President at IFAW. “Through the introduction and application of a whistleblower incentive program for reporting wildlife crime, NWC brings a unique and effective asset to our collective wildlife crime prevention toolkit.”
Scott A. Hajost, Managing Director of NWC’s Global Wildlife Whistleblower Program states: “It is very exciting to join forces and tools with such an outstanding frontline international conservation organization as IFAW in this new partnership in the fight to end wildlife crime.”