Tell lawmakers to #RewardWildlifeWhistleblowers

Wildlife crime is a major security threat. It is a global epidemic, threatening the survival of thousands of species and irreparable damage to our planet's ecosystems. Those who try to speak out against the illegal wildlife trade often risk their lives with no safe, confidential, or effective way to report wildlife crime to authorities.

Whistleblowers are the most powerful tool we have in stopping the illegal destruction of rainforests, wildlife trafficking, and illegal fishing practices.

Major U.S. wildlife laws (including the Lacey and Endangered Species Acts, the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act and, and many others) require U.S. government agencies to protect whistleblowers who report wildlife trafficking and other wildlife crimes. However, these agencies have failed to implement a whistleblower program for over thirty years.

Exposing the corruption at the heart of the multi-billion-dollar wildlife trafficking industry is the most effective way to create long-term, sustainable change, crippling the inner workings of the global criminal networks who profit from the slaughter of our planet's species.

The Secretaries of Interior, Commerce, Treasury and Agriculture must urgently establish an office to work with, and incentivize, whistleblowers at home and abroad to confidentially report wildlife crime.

We have until August 31st to submit our comments to the U.S. Secretaries. Sign the petition and tell these agencies to take the wildlife extinction crisis seriously and #RewardWildlifeWhistleblowers!
To the U.S. Secretaries,

The wildlife extinction crisis we face is pushing entire species to the brink of existence. Extinction is forever. Your office has a powerful and proven tool it can employ in the fight against wildlife trafficking: wildlife whistleblowers.

U.S. wildlife protection laws - such as the Lacey Act, Endangered Species Act, and Fish and Wildlife Improvement Act, among others - include provisions to protect and incentivize people to report wildlife crime. These powerful, underutilized provisions have been on the books for over 30 years.

I request that Secretaries of Interior, Commerce, Treasury, and Agriculture, including U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Department of Interior and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under the Department of Commerce, who Congress entrusted to implement these laws, establish a program to work with global wildlife whistleblowers following the best practices of other successful U.S. whistleblower programs including:

- Informing the public about wildlife whistleblower rights;
- Creating a wildlife whistleblower office to facilitate reports from whistleblowers, while safeguarding confidentiality;
- Recognizing the full range of whistleblowers — including organizations like NGOs — under the laws.

Agency heads responsible for implementing existing whistlebower programs that combat fraud and securities and tax violations have reported effective whistleblower programs are a "tremendously effective force-multiplier, generating high quality tips, and in some cases virtual blueprints laying out an entire enterprise."

To combat the extinction crisis we must empower those on the ground--everyday heroes with vital information who can be the eyes and ears of enforcement.

[your comment here]

Every minute, we are losing vulnerable animals to the poaching crisis, and irreparable damage is being inflicted on ecosystems by illegal fishing and deforestation. We must protect wildlife whistleblowers and incentivize them to report wildlife crime.

Sincerely,

[your name]
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