Wildleaks - A secure online platform to report wildlife crimes
Wildleaks is a new online platform to “receive and evaluate anonymous information and tips regarding wildlife and forest crimes and transform them into actionable items”.
As divers who often travel to remote areas we are in a position to spot wildlife crimes and encounter illegal wildlife traffickers. We become frustrated and angry when we report these crimes to local law enforcement who either turn a blind eye or the culprits receive a mere slap on the wrist. Although Wildleaks was created to gather evidence of criminals trafficking in ivory, rhino horn, big cats, apes, pangolins, birds and illegal timber, we encourage reporting crimes involving marine species as well. Their website is a secure platform and the identities of those reporting the crimes are guaranteed.
“According to Global Financial Integrity, a Washington watchdog group, wildlife crime is the 4th largest transnational crime in the world, worth an estimate US$ 17 billion annually, after narcotics, counterfeiting, and human trafficking (Transnational Crime In The Developing World, 2011).
“Offences like poaching, trafficking in live or dead endangered animals and illegal logging, are complex phenomena where a variety of factors interact – cultural, social, economic and environmental – and often involve different actors. The causes and the consequences of wildlife crime vary among countries, areas and local communities, but it always threatens the existence of many plant and animal species, hinders sustainable social and economic development, and has destabilizing effects on society.
“Wildlife crime is now the most immediate threat to several species including elephants, rhinos, big cats like tigers and lions, apes, pangolins, reptiles and birds, among many others. This illegal trade is driven by demand for ivory, horn, bones, scales and other parts for carving, ornaments, luxury items, and traditional Asian medicines, trophies, wild bushmeat and even live animals for pets and zoos.
“Especially ivory and rhino horn traffic increasingly involves organized crime syndicates, and in some cases rebel militia and terrorist groups, with a very heavy human toll.”