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International Breakthrough for Wildlife Crime Whistleblowers

IUCN Congress Passes Four Whistleblower Protection Resolutions

Washington, D.C. – WEBWIRE

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) approved four motions through its Marseille Congress, calling on its members to protect and incentivize whistleblowers who report illegal wildlife trafficking and other environmental crimes. 
“The IUCN’s approval of these whistleblower provisions marks an accumulation of six years of work laying the foundation for real progress for wildlife crime whistleblowers,” said Stephen M. Kohn, an attorney who has worked for five years advocating for strong legal protections for whistleblower whistleblowers. In 2016, the Environmental Law Institute published Kohn’s groundbreaking article of Monetary Rewards for Wildlife Whistleblowers: A Game-Changer in Wildlife Trafficking Detection and Deterrence ,  which sparked a growing campaign to increase protections for those reporting illegal trafficking.  
“The IUCN resolutions will play an instrumental role in encouraging the detection of wildlife crime through whistleblowers. With IUCN putting its weight behind support for whistleblowers, these provisions can be used as the centerpiece for creating protections for wildlife crime whistleblowers worldwide,” Kohn added. 
“Now that these IUCN resolutions in effect, the global community has the foundation upon which to build impactful whistleblower laws as tools for combatting wildlife crime,” said Scott Hajost, Senior Wildlife Policy Advisor at the National Whistleblower Center (NWC). Hajost was instrumental in getting the issue of whistleblowing on the global conservation agenda. 
Hajost was the project manager of the Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge that supported early efforts to increase protections and incentives for whistleblowers exposing wildlife trafficking crimes. 
Whistleblower provisions IUCN’s Members approved are included in the following resolutions: 

The Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act (H.R.864) is currently pending before the U.S. House of Representatives. This bill, introduced in 2019 by Congressmen John Garamendi (D-CA) and Don Young (R-AK), would empower whistleblowers to report information about wildlife crime and strengthen the enforcement capacity of U.S. agents. It offers a powerful new tool to combat looming threats to global wildlife.


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