On September 1, 2016, the Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge announced the National Whistleblower Center (NWC) as a Grand Prize Winner. The Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge, an initiative of USAID in partnership with the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institution, and TRAFFIC, is finding new, innovative solutions to the most intractable issues in the fight against wildlife trafficking.
As a Grand Prize Winner the National Whistleblower Center launched an online platform to address wildlife trafficking by enabling whistleblowers around the world to safely and anonymously file reports of wildlife crimes to the appropriate authorities, and ensure that these courageous whistleblowers qualify for monetary rewards. The NWC’s Wildlife Whistleblower Project seeks to educate whistleblowers globally on how the wildlife whistleblower laws work to encourage reports of wildlife trafficking, illegal unreported and unregulated fishing, illegal deforestation, and ocean pollution anywhere in the world, and inform whistleblowers that they can potentially qualify for financial rewards when their information contributes to a successful prosecution.
In response to the NWC being named a Grand Prize Winner, Stephen M. Kohn, executive director, made the following statement: “The NWC is honored to be chosen for such an important award. This award will enable us to inform whistleblowers around the world about their rights and how to best protect themselves when they report illegal wildlife trafficking.” Kohn went on to explain,“In other areas of the economy where whistleblower reward laws have been implemented the results have been phenomenally successful, resulting in record civil and criminal recoveries. The evidence clearly supports a finding that, if implemented in the fight against wildlife crimes, the impact would be profound and revolutionary.”