30 game-changing years of exposing environmental crime

EIA investigator surveys land burning in Attapeu, Laos (c) EIA

EIA investigator surveys land burning in Attapeu, Laos (c) EIA

This week, the Environmental Investigation Agency celebrates 30 years of working on the front lines to expose environmental crime and exploitation.

We’ll be formally marking the anniversary on Wednesday (September 17) with an auction of wildlife photography at Cecil Sharp House, near London Zoo, at which we’ll also be holding the first screening of the commemorative film Balaenoptera Legacy. For more information on the event and to get up to two complimentary tickets, visit here.

Later in the month, we’ll be unveiling updates to our website – including improved functionality for better display on tablets and iPhones.

Documenting whale meat sales in Japan (c) EIA

Documenting whale meat sales in Japan (c) EIA

EIA began with three young activists seeking to make a difference and has grown into unique, maneuverable and hugely effective organisation, driving changes in international law and putting the concept of organised transnational environmental crime onto political agendas around the world.

We differ from other NGOs in our strong focus on environmental criminality, dispatching investigators to work undercover with hidden cameras, false-front companies and assumed identities, often in harrowing and potentially dangerous circumstances

Its findings are shared with appropriate enforcement authorities for action, and used to highlight issues and bring pressure to bear on them.

“EIA has been the boots on the ground in this effort way before we came to the fight … in the environmental movement, EIA is the equivalent of Her Majesty’s Secret Service” – Louie Psihoyos, director of the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove

Investigator as the scene of a poached elephant in Tanzania (c) EIA

Investigator as the scene of a poached elephant in Tanzania (c) EIA

As well as investigations and campaigns, EIA also shares its skills and donates equipment to individuals and groups around the world to help train effective local voices for change.

Our major successes in the past 30 years include:
• playing a pivotal role in securing the worldwide ban on ivory trade in 1989;
• dramatically reducing the international trade in wild caught birds;
• exposing the largest rhino horn poaching operation in the world;
• significantly reducing the demand for whale and dolphin meat in Japan and successfully campaigning for leading internet marketplaces Amazon, Google and Rakuten to stop selling such products;
• highlighting the illegal trade in big cat skins and exposing the trans-Himalayan trafficking routes for big cat body parts;
• playing key roles in achieving the 2010’s European Union Timber Regulation and 2011’s historic Voluntary Partnership Agreement between the EU and Indonesia to help safeguard Indonesia’s forests.

Keep up to date with all the latest EIA news releases and discussions on environmental crime and exploitation via Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.