Target: Andrea Crosta, WildLeaks project leader
Goal: Commend environmental groups for creating the world’s first secure, online tool for reporting wildlife and forest crimes
Whistleblowers risk their jobs, their freedom, and even their lives to bring forward information about serious crimes. Now everyday activists have a secure, online hub where they can report illegal hunting, fishing, logging, and other wildlife and forest crimes. The site, called “WildLeaks,” in a nod to the famed WikiLeaks whistleblower resource, received tips on its very first day of operation.
WildLeaks has been made possible through a collaboration of international environmental and wildlife groups, led by the California-based Elephant Action League. According to the Huffington Post, wildlife and forest crimes rake in $17 billion every year while threatening the survival of many species. Animals like endangered rhinos, elephants, and lions are poached for their valuable body parts or to be shipped live to wealthy clients around the world. Illegal logging is wreaking havoc on the planet’s forests. And WildLeaks is giving average people a platform to expose these crimes while keeping tipsters anonymous and safe.
Wildlife law enforcement personnel are eager to see how WildLeaks can help solve this global issue. Head of the Anti-Poaching Intelligence Group of Southern Africa, Kevin Bewick, agrees that, “Public tip-offs to enforcement is the key to shutting down wildlife crime.” Applaud WildLeaks for its pioneering work protecting threatened animals and forests around the world.
Dear Mr. Crosta,
Recent reports have shown just how big a problem wildlife and forest crimes are in today’s world. Many who truly want to help fail to report the crimes they witness out of fear for their safety. Given these realities, WildLeaks is an invaluable tool for law enforcement and average citizens alike.
I am grateful that such a resource exists, where people can report illegal logging, poaching, and other crimes while remaining anonymous. Whistleblowers are modern heroes, and it does not surprise me that WildLeaks received tips within 24 hours of the site going live. More and more people will continue to access the site as awareness grows.
Bryan Christy, National Geographic Special Investigations director and founding member of WildLeaks, may have said it best: “The most important weapon the world has against international wildlife traffickers and corruption is an informed public.” And so I am signing this petition for two reasons: first, to thank you and everyone partnering with Wildleaks for your work protecting threatened animals and habitats; and second, to help others learn of the site’s existence and value in the fight against wildlife and forest crime. May your mission prosper!
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region via Flickr