Page 1

Investigator environmental investigation agency

EIA Investigator Summer 11

Behind the screens: a look into the UK’s murky e-waste trade


Chilling facts on supermarket giants


On the brink of an Indonesian milestone


Mapping the scale of poaching


EIA Investigator Summer 11


A message from our Executive Director, Mary Rice In the face of so much upheaval and tragedy around the globe in recent months, EIA now faces the challenge of keeping the environment on the agenda with decision-makers whose priorities have been turned upside down. EIA remains relatively small but when it comes to tackling environmental crimes we are gaining ground and it is your support that does this. Many of the articles in this issue of the Investigator show how enforcement is progressing on a number of fronts. For years, EIA has been pushing for better international co-operation and the creation of national task forces to combat wildlife crime, especially trafficking of tiger parts. These ideas are now becoming reality, with the establishment of the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime and growing support in tiger range states for intelligenceled enforcement.

But environmental crime does not just take place in distant countries. Here in the UK, our initial investigations into the smuggling of electronic waste have revealed rampant law-breaking, with massive amounts of broken goods such as televisions and computers being illegally diverted to countries like Ghana and Nigeria. Our findings will be used to pressure the UK authorities to clamp down on this toxic trade.

© Istockphoto

While it is obviously the responsibility of government enforcement agencies to police the environmental crime laws on their statute books, NGOs such as EIA have a vital role to play. In Indonesia we have been stressing the need to involve local NGOs in tackling illegal logging. Here as well, advances are being made. The new timber legality system adopted by the Indonesian government explicitly recognises a role for NGOs. Our colleagues in Indonesia have been quick to respond and have created a nationwide network of local groups committed to independently scrutinising conformity with the new system.

EIA probes smuggling of electronic waste

EIA is a small NGO and when it comes to tackling environmental crimes which generate billions of pounds in illicit profits it can often seem an unequal struggle. Yet we are making significant progress – and your vital help will make sure we keep doing so.

WITH dizzying advances in entertainment and communications technology, we’re forever being encouraged to upgrade to the latest models.

Mary Rice Executive Director

But replacing your old mobile phones and PCs with new versions bristling with applications and jettisoning cathode ray tube television sets in favour of sleek plasma screens can have far-reaching and harmful impacts on the environment. Written and edited by EIA Designed by: designflavour ( Printed by: Emmerson Press ( Cover main images copyright Andrew McConnell/Panos Pictures, small images © EIA, © Istockphoto All images © EIA unless otherwise shown

Contents 3

EIA probes into e-waste

Printed on 100% recycled paper


Chilling facts & campaign update

A huge and heartfelt thanks to our members and supporters. Without you we would not be able to carry out our vital work.


Forests: Here in the UK


Forests: Over in Indonesia


Tiger reflection


Meet the partners


Elephants & Rhinos


Polluted whale meat

ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTIGATION AGENCY 62-63 Upper Street, London N1 ONY, UK Tel: 020 7354 7960 Fax: 020 7354 7961 email: PO Box 53343, Washington DC 20009, USA. Tel: 202 483 6621 Fax: 202 986 8626 email:

12-13 News in Brief 14 - 15 Members’ zone

Such discarded technology is supposed to be safely and properly disposed of – but a new investigation by EIA into the electronic waste trade in the UK shows that’s too often not the case. You may be surprised to find that your old unwanted electronic goods take on a new life as e-waste. Driven by the same market forces which contribute to the creation of so much scrap technology in the first place, the enormous and hugely lucrative trade in e-waste has become the fastest growing waste stream in the UK, each year generating around a staggering 1.8 million tonnes of e-waste – that’s the equivalent of more than 4,000 Boeing 747s. During the past two years, EIA investigators have dug deep into the UK’s murky e-waste underworld, meeting undercover with a series of brokers and scrutinising municipal waste sites. In the very near future we will publish the findings of what will be the most comprehensive probe to date of the country’s e-waste problem.

What we can tell you is that the story starts in your living rooms or offices and often ends in Africa, where much of the UK’s e-waste is illegally dumped with terrible consequences for the environment and for human health. In Europe alone, it is estimated that as much as 75% of e-waste ‘disappears’, despite legislation to promote environmentally friendly recycling and a ban on export of non-working goods to developing countries. The problem is that most e-waste contains a payload of valuable metals such as gold and copper. Illegally shipped out in bulk, it is dumped in far-off lands to be stripped to its bare components via the most primitive of methods: copper wires are bundled and set alight, releasing vast clouds of toxic dioxins;

TV screens are smashed with hammers, releasing plumes of lead dust; computer circuit boards are smelted for their lead content, using the same utensils employed to prepare food. Poverty drives young children to carry out this work to help support their families, and the potential health risks are dire – reproductive and developmental problems, damaged immune, nervous and blood systems, kidney damage and impaired brain development in the young. With the useful metals extracted, the detritus is often dumped in landfills or rivers, or burnt in toxinreleasing fires. Watch for our ground-breaking report and associated media coverage in the next few weeks.

e-waste has become the fastest growing waste stream in the UK, each year generating 1.8 million tonnes of e-waste - that’s the equivalent of more than 4,000 Boeing 747s


EIA Investigator Summer 11


Progress on dubious HFC carbon credits upsets China EIA was quick to highlight a threat by China to deliberately vent massive quantities of a greenhouse gas unless developed nations paid it what amounted to a climate ransom.


The threat in December followed efforts to ban dubious carbon credits from industrial gas projects in the European carbon market – a move which would cut off a hugely lucrative source of income.

In November, the United Nation’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Executive Board decided to revise the rules governing HFC-23 destruction amid concerns the system could lead to too many carbon credits being issued; just days earlier, the European Commission proposed to ban HFC-23 credits in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme as of January 2013.

EIA’s Chilling Facts campaign making progress

THE terrible scale of the human and environmental disaster still unfolding in Japan is almost beyond comprehension.

China CDM Fund deputy director Chen Huan joined the International Emissions Trading Association and other European carbon traders to oppose the move, claiming developed countries were pushing for emission reductions without offering aid

Overwhelmed by March 11th’s massive earthquake and the tsunami it triggered, the people of that country hadn’t even time to begin to count the cost before they found themselves threatened by nuclear contamination.

He further warned that in the absence of the CDM, Chinese HCFC-22 manufacturers might start venting HFC-23 into the atmosphere again – in reality, something China has never stopped doing.

Our first Chilling Facts report in 2009 showed UK supermarkets were failing to live up to commitments to reduce the climate change impact of the cooling gases used in their refrigeration. As much as onethird of most supermarkets’ carbon footprint came from this source, and that’s not counting the energy used to power the equipment! The offending gases are hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs for short, and they’re often several thousand times more powerful than CO2 in terms of global warming potential. Compiling Chilling Facts III, based on a survey of refrigeration systems used by the major supermarket chains, EIA Global Environment campaigner Fionnuala Walravens was pleased to note significant progress. There are now 239 stores using climate-friendly refrigeration compared to just 14 two years ago. However, she and her fellow judges had stern criticism for Asda, the nation’s second biggest chain, after it decided not to take part in this year’s study and slumped to the bottom end of the league table,

casting grave doubts over the sincerity of its 2007 pledge to move away from HFCs. “As one of the UK’s biggest retailers, it is unacceptable for Asda to ignore such an important issue,” said Fionnuala. There was good news elsewhere, with some retailers pledging to drop HFCs altogether within a specific time-frame. The leaders – Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer – have said all new equipment will be HFC-free, showing the transition is both technically feasible and commercially viable. Our survey quizzed supermarkets on the climate changing impacts of their refrigeration for warehouses, transportation and stores. For the first time this year, we also included air-conditioning systems as an issue.

In addition, the UK government should support an ambitious HFC phase-out as part of Europe’s F-gas regulation review, tax HFCs, and provide incentives for training refrigeration engineers to work with HFC-free technologies.

The stoicism of the Japanese people in these dark days is remarkable; with more than 10,000 of their countrymen dead or missing and many towns in ruins, their forbearance is beyond the reach of frantic media hyperbole.

The insistence that developed countries must continue to squander billions on fake offsets that actually increase production of greenhouse gases is irrational

The Environmental Investigation Agency has a long and varied relationship with Japan, reaching back to the early days of our organisation. Our work has often put us at loggerheads with the country as a political entity, but we’ve never once mistaken the profile and policies of its government for the typical citizens with whom we so often deal, and on whom we so often rely. One of our senior campaigners was previously active in Japan on nuclear issues; another lived and taught in the country for several years. EIA’s cetaceans campaign regularly takes our investigators and campaigners to the country; some of them have spent months in Otsuchi and Kamaishi, places which have been completely obliterated, with devastating loss of life.

Senior Campaigner Fionnuala Walravens told the press.

Our work in Japan would largely be impossible without the assistance of local translators, fixers, researchers and scientists, without the cooperation and help of the typical citizens and civil society groups who go out of their way to aid our investigations.

Ranking the supermarkets by performance revealed Waitrose is still at the top of the table, with Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer close behind; Morrisons, Co-operative and Lidl are mid-field, while laggards Iceland, Asda and Aldi trail at the bottom.

In many, many cases they have become our close friends as well as allies and informal colleagues.

EIA calls for all supermarkets to commit to fully phasing out HFCs by 2015, use HFC-free refrigeration in all new builds and refits, and phase out HFCs in all air-conditioning systems, transport and distribution centres.

To all of them, and to all their fellow countrymen, we at EIA extend our fullest sympathies for their losses and suffering in this terrible time, and send our sincerest wishes for their recovery from the destruction and profound shock that this succession of disasters has wrought.

© Istockphoto

WITH climate change an ever-growing cause for concern, EIA turned up the heat on the High Street once more with the release of Chilling Facts III.


© Istockphoto

Although China has received nearly a billion dollars to destroy the waste gas HFC-23, which is produced during the manufacture of HCFC-22 refrigerant, it insisted on continued payments far in excess of the actual costs of destruction.


Public anger averts threat to England’s forests IN what must be one of the swiftest government U-turns in a long time, plans to sell England’s public forests wound up on the scrapheap in February.

Campaigner Alasdair Cameron warned: “If this shortsighted plan had gone ahead, they could have been sold or leased to commercial businesses, charities and individuals – and effectively lost to future generations.”

Tucked away in the Public Bodies Bill, the Government had sought powers to sell a substantial proportion of England’s Public Forest Estate, which covers 258,000 hectares.

In the event, the government evidently took note of the national mood and backed off, but just because the immediate threat has passed doesn’t mean our forest heritage is out of the woods yet.

But faced with a widespread and angry public backlash, the plan was halted and the consultation already underway was scrapped.

A commission is to look into the issue of forestry, with the forestry industry and some major NGOs participating; it’s not yet clear whether it will be held in public or include grassroots campaigners – a significant concern since the big NGOs were pretty slow and ambiguous on the issue, and many have potential conflicts of interest as large landowners.

EIA publicly opposed the plan, issuing a statement in early February on the first day of the UN International Year of Forests pointing out that the sale could be a disaster for our ecological heritage. Instead, we advocated greater protection for England’s few remaining contiguous areas of forest and improvement in nationally owned commercial forests by refocusing management more towards biodiversity and the environment.

EIA will do all it can to scrutinise any inquiry to ensure it doesn’t come up with something just as bad, and to see that opportunities to improve the UK’s impoverished environment are not missed. The speed with which the grassroots campaign against the sale spread shows how much people value our remaining forests.

If this short-sighted plan had gone ahead, they could have been sold or leased to commercial businesses, charities and individuals – and effectively lost to future generations

Name: Julian Newman Age: 44

Julian N ewman

Hometown: Caister-on-Sea, Norfolk Education: Degree in Geography from Portsmouth Polytechnic, post-graduate diploma in Journalism Campaign specialism: I’m currently Campaigns Director at EIA. I joined EIA back in 1997 as an investigator, so I’ve been lucky enough to work on all of our campaigns, although I’ve spent most of my time on the forests campaign in the past few years. What first interested you in environmental issues?: I guess my interest really began as a geography student, learning about ecology and trade in natural resources. After graduating, I worked my way around South East Asia and saw at first hand issues such as deforestation. These experiences led me to join EIA after gaining useful experience as a journalist. What is your most memorable experience at EIA?: My first investigation into CFC smuggling in Spain sticks in the mind, but it would have to be the time I spent staying with the Knasaimos people in West Papua on an illegal logging investigation. Warm hospitality and beautiful forests.

Indonesia poised to sign timber trade agreement with the EU AFTER more than a decade of dedicated and sometimes dangerous work, EIA’s forestry campaign in Indonesia is on the brink of reaching a major milestone. At the time of going to press, Indonesia was poised to conclude an historic Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the European Union, a key plank of the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) initiative which is seeking to establish systems to halt the sale of illegal timber products to the EU and address forest governance issues. The VPA will also enshrine capacity building, an essential component allowing NGOs such as EIA, its local partner Telapak and others to play an active role in monitoring and shaping policy. The Indonesian government has a new Timber Legality Assurance System (TLAS) called the Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas Kayu (SVLK) which requires all timber production to be independently audited. This new law gives civil society the right to complain and be part of the system that allows for the suspension of any company’s exports shown to be breaking the law. Events have come a long way from the early days of EIA’s work in Indonesia with Telapak, when we began to reveal the extent of illegal logging and the appalling environmental and social costs, and to expose the major criminal operations running it and the corruption that allowed them to do so.

From the start, an issue that kept coming up was the role of civil society and how to ensure the voices of NGOs such as EIA were heard and for Indonesian civil society to be part of any decision-making process. Huge risks were taken by EIA and Telapak as we faced a seriously corrupt system protecting violent and extremely powerful businessmen, and state actors. Even after numerous investigations and exposures that clearly explained how corruption was at the centre of the problem when trying to combat illegal logging, many cases were met with a wall of silence. This has now changed. The chaos that existed in Indonesia’s forests has calmed. While corruption still exists, illegal logging is no longer rampant, although problems still remain in Indonesia’s forestry sector. In September, EIA and Telapak organised a crucial meeting in Jakarta of many of the key players in civil society from throughout Indonesia, out of which was born Jaringan Pemantau Independen Kehutanan (JPIK) or, in English, the Independent Forest Monitoring Network. Civil society is now formally a part of the independent monitoring of Indonesia’s forests; no longer outside the loop, we’re right inside the process – and with the VPA concluded and JPIK actively involved, we and our partners are muchbetter placed to ensure the information we expose is formally recognised and acted upon, while being able to apply close and proper scrutiny to the nitty-gritty of the VPA.

© EIA Telepak

EIA Investigator Summer 11

© EIA Telepak

© Jason Cheng


the chaos that existed in Indonesia’s forests has calmed

EIA Investigator Summer 11


Turning tiger commitments into actions

© Mike Vickers

Meet EIA’s partners: Wildlife Protection Society of India

The Government of India was due to host the International Conference on Tiger Conservation and Global Workshop on Implementation of the Global Tiger Recovery Program (GTRP) from March 28-30, 2011, in New Delhi. One goal of the workshop is to bring the Tiger Range Countries together with global partners to proactively push ahead implementation and monitoring of the GTRP this year. The GTRP, adopted in St Petersburg by the governments of countries where tigers live, sets out the broad brushstroke actions deemed necessary to double the wild tiger population by 2022. Estimates suggest it currently stands at about 3,200. In preparation for St Petersburg, EIA produced a comprehensive report on how many of the vital commitments have been made before, and examined some of the reasons for their failure. You

can download a copy of the report, Enforcement Not Extinction: Zero Tolerance on Tiger Trade, from our website.

TIGER team leader Debbie Banks pays a personal tribute to Belinda Wright, founder and Executive Director of the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI).

Another important initiative is gaining momentum. The International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC), which brings together INTERPOL, CITES, World Customs Organisation and UN Office on Drugs and Crime met in February to agree actions for 2011, including a high-level meeting of customs and police officers from the 13 Asian countries where wild tigers still exist. The road to tiger recovery is certainly not going to be a smooth or easy ride, and a few cracks in the asphalt are already in evidence. In India, the beleaguered Minister of Environment & Forests for India, Jairam Ramesh, was forced to concede a significant amount of forest land after the boldly declared a hands-off protection policy to stop mining operations from tearing them up. In Burma, the authorities are hunting for the activist who blew the whistle on the colonisation of forest by a private corporation in the Hukawng Valley, which was only recently declared the world’s largest tiger reserve. Villagers have been kicked out to make way for sugar cane plantations.

“Belinda has been an inspiration to me ever since my early days as a fledgling tiger conservationist. She has personally helped me tread my way carefully through the minefield of politics, lies and corruption that sadly surrounds the tiger. © EIA

AFTER all the preparations and optimism surrounding the International Tiger Forum in St Petersburg last November, at the time of going to press EIA’s tiger team was excitedly anticipating the first major meetings seeking to ensure the fine words are transformed into action.

As well as keeping up the pressure to help ensure the intentions of St Petersburg become a reality, EIA is also seeking to monitor successes and failures along the way – you can help by emailing us verified reports of positive and negatives stories whenever you see them to

Find out about how our tiger gala went and how much we raised on page 13

the road to tiger recovery is certainly not going to be a smooth or easy ride...

“Born and raised in India, Belinda has spent her entire life working on wildlife issues. Applying her knowledge of tiger ecology and behaviour, she has generated stunning photographs and film for National Geographic, which has been broadcast around the world and helped inspire millions to care about the tiger. “It also meant she was among the first to notice and document the changes that were taking place in India as China’s demand for tiger bone began taking its toll in the early 1990s. Belinda founded WPSI in 1994 in the wake of the emerging tiger crisis and since then she has put together an amazing team of field investigators, analysts, lawyers, community outreach specialists and communicators. “Today, WPSI runs a number of projects relating to tiger, leopard, elephant, turtle and habitat conservation, but it’s the ground-breaking work investigating the illegal trade in tigers and other endangered species that has made it stand out from the crowd.

Belinda Wright

“An holistic approach to ending illegal wildlife trade means it does everything from running a network of informants across the country and pulling in intelligence on poaching and trade, to filing court cases, assisting the prosecutors and training police, customs and forest officers to build their capacity to combat the trade. It is WPSI’s vast database on wildlife crime and criminals, dating back to 1994, that provides a wealth of intelligence on the “who, what, how, where and when” of India’s illegal wildlife trade. “In 1999, it was WPSI which first documented the increasing role of organised criminal networks in the trans-Himalayan trade in the skins and other body parts of tigers and leopards. WPSI shared its preliminary findings about networks spanning India and Nepal with EIA, and in 2002 and 2004 we made our own forays into Nepal and Tibet. It was clear that we needed to join forces on the ground, draw on each other’s skills and strengths. In 2005, EIA and WPSI travelled to China and Tibet together, to document for the first time ever the scale of demand and use of tiger skin across the region. “Partnerships based on trust and common principles are the partnerships that work best. That’s what made it possible for us as a team to manage with the trauma of what we saw in 2005; the skins of hundreds of tigers and leopards, and the realisation that what we were up against was a complex mess of government complicity. In this field of work, it’s easier to act upon the courage of your convictions when you know someone’s got your back.”

© Mike Vickers


Belinda has been an inspiration to me ever since my early days as a fledgling tiger conservationist


Elephants and rhinos in the firing line IF the rate of seizures is anything to go by, then the wheels of the illegal ivory and rhino horn trades are turning swiftly as ever. A central tenet of EIA’s work in this field is our conviction, confirmed by the evidence, that one-off sales of stockpiled ivory do nothing to ease demand – indeed, legal ivory in the marketplace serves to create confusion and a smokescreen behind which illegal ivory can be laundered.

EIA exposes sale of polluted whale meat in Japan

Seizures frequently take place throughout Africa when Chinese migrant workers and tourists buy ivory and attempt to take it out of the country when they return home – but alongside this market is the lucrative, highly organised criminal trade of ivory trafficking from Africa to Asia. Recently, two Chinese citizens were arrested in Tanzania, described as “kingpins” behind failed attempts to smuggle tonnes of ivory to China and Vietnam. Thailand is also emerging as a major hub in the illicit ivory trade. In February just over a tonne of ivory was captured, along with three rhino horns. Since 2009, Thai customs have seized more than 1,600 elephant tusks. Fuelled by demand for rhino horn, the poaching of rhinos has soared recently. Used in traditional Asian medicine and for decorative ornaments, 333 rhino were killed last year in South Africa alone, and the killing has continued into 2011. A swathe of poaching has cut through Africa and taken place in Asian countries, including India and Nepal. In South Africa, the situation is deemed so serious that the army has reportedly been drafted in to help protect rhinos in Kruger National Park. Added to the sheer numbers of rhino being killed, poachers are using evermore sophisticated methods to target them – there have been reports of poachers hiring helicopters and there have been targeted burglaries of premises holding rhino horn. Demand for rhino horn is influencing events closer to home; a mounted rhino head, complete with horn, was recently stolen from an auction house in Essex by intruders who evidently knew what they were looking for and who took nothing else. As much as the mounted head might have brought at auction, the value of its horn on the black market is considerably greater. Such availability is believed to stimulate demand for rhino horn, which in turn exacerbates the poaching problem. In response to the heightened demand, in September 2010 the UK Government cracked down on exports of rhino horn and now it’s illegal to trade mounted but otherwise unaltered rhino horns in the UK. A poacher recently confessed to a South African anti-poaching unit that he had been paid the equivalent of just under £900 to kill and de-horn a rhino – with rhino horn now considered more expensive than gold, there is a huge mark-up and ready market waiting for poachers.

legal ivory in the marketplace serves to create confusion and a smokescreen behind which illegal ivory can be laundered


Our investigators have recently been active in Hong Kong and China to gather information about the true state of play in the ivory trade, following suspicions that a spate of seizures in various parts of the world during 2009-10 were mostly bound for China.


EIA Investigator Summer 11



INTERNET giant Yahoo! Japan was put on the spot when EIA led a call for it to ban all sales of whale, dolphin and porpoise products from its store and auction sites after our independent tests revealed a majority of sample purchases were badly contaminated with mercury. Despite a hectic schedule travelling the length and breadth of Japan in February to gather data while also filming for a forthcoming documentary about EIA’s cetaceans work, senior campaigner Clare Perry made time in Tokyo to release the story to the Japanese media. Of eight whale products – including fried Baird’s beaked whale, pilot whale bacon and minke whale stew – purchased from Yahoo! Japan store sites, five exceeded safety guidelines for mercury contamination in seafood for human consumption. The average concentration of mercury in the samples was 1.78 parts per million (ppm), more than four times higher than the ‘safe’ level of 0.4ppm set by the Government of Japan – and one sample, sold as “dried whale from Taiji” (the town where the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove documented the mass killing of dolphins), contained more than 16 times the limit for mercury at 6.5ppm. Mercury is known to cause neurological disorders in humans, an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease, arteriosclerosis, immune subsystem suppression, and hypertension. Threats to children include autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

“Yahoo! Japan has a responsibility to end the sale of whale, dolphin and porpoise products to ensure that mercury-contaminated products are no longer sold to its internet customers,” said Clare. “Thousands of dolphins, porpoises and small whales continued to be killed around the coast of Japan, posing a threat to the health of anyone who consumes such products.” This was the second time EIA has tested whale products sold via Yahoo! Japan Store sites. In 2010, similar tests found that 50 per cent of samples of whale meat sold via Yahoo! Japan exceeded the safe levels for mercury contamination. The results were provided to Yahoo! Japan but the company has so far refused to take action to stop the sales.

Figure confirms rise in pilot whale killings A RECORD number of pilot whales were slaughtered in the Faroe Islands in 2010, according to the latest official statistics from the Faroese Government. The 1,129 whales killed produced more than 540 tonnes of meat and blubber, divided up free-of-charge among members of the communities in which the hunts took place. Yet despite alarmingly high levels of heavy metals, particularly mercury and organochlorines including PCBs, in the meat and blubber, the Faroese Government negligently continues to play down the health risks and promote the hunt. EIA director Jennifer Lonsdale said: “Faroes medical experts lead the world in studying the impacts of pollutants on consumers and yet the Faroese Government continues to actively ignore the threat to its own people from consuming pilot whale meat and blubber.” Despite years claims that killing methods have significantly improved, images from Faroes TV footage from a hunt last year show very little progress has been made to reduce the appalling cruelty associated with these hunts. “It is deplorable that the highly sophisticated society of the Faroe Islands allows this inherent cruelty to continue in the quest to obtain cheap food and continue a tradition that belongs in the history books,” added Jennifer.

EIA Investigator Summer 11


Campaign news in brief

• support the CITES Ivory and Rhinoceros Enforcement Task Force in bringing together law enforcement officials from countries affected by illegal trade in elephant and rhinoceros parts and products; • provide training support to officials in the recently established South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network; • complete a toolkit on Wildlife and Forest Crime which countries can use to review their current response to such crimes. However, its biggest project will be to establish Controlled Delivery Units in countries affected by trafficking in wildlife, especially illegal logging. A

The tigers of Ranthambore have been filmed and photographed by thousands, inspiring millions in turn. None of that would have happened were it not for the flamboyant Fateh and his team. We trust that his journey will continue in the company of tigers.

© Wild Aid

The event was the first major fundraiser for Save Wild Tigers, a partnership comprising EIA, the Born Free Foundation and WildAid; it was organised by The Clinton Partnership, which donated its services.

Stripped is available from Amazon. For more details, visit Dave’s Wild Press Books at

“It was a really fabulous night,” said Debbie Banks, head of EIA’s Tiger Campaign. “The entertainment was exotic, the music vibrant, the food delightful and the champagne flowed while guest auctioneer Nicholas Parsons did a sensational job of squeezing every last penny from the bidders!

d Aid

“And EIA supporter Ronni Ancona deserves a special word of thanks for attending just days after she completed a 100km trek through Kenya’s Kaisut Desert for Comic Relief.”

Kathak dancing

EIA’s share of the gala proceeds will help us to continue our work in China to document the ‘who, what, where and how’ of the tiger trade, and to lobby the Chinese Government to invest in targeting and coordinating operations to end it. Check out EIA’s Investigator’s Blog at hhttp:// for a full roll call of thanks to all those organisations and individuals whose contributions helped to make it such a fantastic night to remember.

Ronni Anc ona & Alastair M cGowan

£100, 000 was raised for this fantastic cause

dance Balinese Tiger

Nic holas Pa



“I’ve written EIA reports for years and it’s all good reference, but writing this was such a different experience because anything could happen,” added Dave. “I always knew two or three chapters ahead what was happening, but that could change enormously because the characters would take over!”

Joanna Lumley, Bill Oddie, Nicholas Parsons, Ronni Ancona and Alistair McGowan, Jimmy Choo, Virginia McKenna and Will Travers, Donal MacIntyre, Liz Bonnin and Lauren St John were at the Gala Night in London’s prestigious Mandarin Oriental Hotel on March 3.

y Joanna Lumle

© Wil

As the lead characters struggle through the myriad dangers of the wild, Stripped takes in the politics of deforestation, the criminal organisations profiteering from it and the appalling consequences of the consumer market’s demand for tropical woods.

“Joanna and Donal reminded everyone why they were there with heartfelt words for the tiger, while a special film made for the night by the Clinton Partnership had some guests moved to tears.

© Wild

THE tiger lost one of its greatest champions when Fateh Singh Rathore passed away last month. His lasting legacy is Ranthambore Tiger Reserve and the tigers that thrive in it. His fearless efforts in the 1970s as a wildlife warden and, subsequently, Field Director rejuvenated the park and the lakes, where tigers became famous – Genghis, Noon and Laxmi of days gone by, right up to today’s famous old tigress Machali.

“We follow the characters through it and get to know the forest through them – I guess it’s a different way of approaching the issue.”

CELEBRITIES from the worlds of drama, comedy, conservation, television, fashion, books and journalism added a dash of glitter to an exclusive fundraising event for tiger conservation.

© Wild Aid

• hold a senior-level seminar involving Customs and police from the 13 countries in Asia where tigers are still found in the wild;

In memoriam:

“I largely did it for my own sanity, to get it out of my skin,” said Dave. “It’s an easy read, an airport read, but I’ve already had feedback that people felt they had a better understanding about the issue than they had before.

Tiger gala a roaring success


Bringing together the CITES Secretariat, INTERPOL, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the World Bank and the World Customs Organisation, ICCWC agreed that as well as efforts focusing on the trade in high-profile species such as elephants, rhinos, snow leopards and tigers, it will:

His debut novel, Stripped, employs all the elements of a fast-paced thriller to tell the story of illegal logging and the timber mafia behind it, as seen through the eyes of its protagonists, an Englishman and his Dayak guide, who are kidnapped in the Borneo jungle and soon fighting for survival after being left for dead.

© Wild

Launched during the International Tiger Forum in St Petersburg in November 2010, the Senior Experts Group of the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) met in Vienna in February to plan for the forthcoming year.

Finally, back in November, Operation Ramp – a worldwide operation co-ordinated by INTERPOL’s Environmental Crime Programme and involving 51 countries across all five continents against the illegal trade in reptiles and amphibians – reached fruition with arrests around the globe and the seizure of thousands of animals, plus products worth more than €25 million. The two-month operation included national wildlife enforcement authorities, police, customs and specialised units from participating countries.

EIA co-founder Dave Currey has drawn on his decades of experience as a frontline environmental campaigner for his first venture into writing fiction.


EIA has long been an active advocate for greater involvement of police and customs in combating wildlife and environmental crime, so it’s pleasing to see a flurry of activity on that front.

Conducted within the Framework of Project Gapin – Great Apes and Integrity - financed by the Swedish Government, the operation seized more than 22 tonnes and 13,000 pieces of protected wildlife covering over 31 species; seizures and/or detentions were made in Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda and South Africa, as well as in Belgium, China, the Czech Republic, France, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain, the UK and Vietnam.

© Fatehpur Forest Department

Update on enforcement against environmental crime

Elsewhere, a two-week trans-regional operation in January and February co-ordinated by the World Customs Organisation (WCO) resulted in more than 100 seizures of CITES-protected wildlife in a move to combat the illegal cross-border trade in great apes and other wildlife species, including their derivatives.

Stripped Down

© Wild Aid

pilot phase will offer capacity building to Customs, the police and prosecutors from about 20 countries in Africa and Asia so they can quickly respond to illegal shipments detected in transit.

© David Lawson/CFTWI


EIA Investigator Summer 11



’ s r e b m e M re

Sue Harris

And the stars really did come out in aid of wild tigers at our gala event in Knightsbridge. EIA joined forces with BornFree and WildAid with the help of The Clinton Partnership and put on a fabulous evening of Asian food and entertainment, representing as many of the tiger range

countries as humanly possible. While ticket prices were a little steep for most, two EIA raffle winners were lucky enough to join us at the event. Joanna Lumley’s speech set the tone and Nicholas Parsons commanded the auction. We are very pleased to say more than £100,000 was raised and the proceeds will be split between respective tiger projects. Looking back over the festive period many of you have been raising awareness and funds for our work in all kinds of ways. Sue Spicer, who hosted a stall at the Dive Show, Birmingham, raised £500 and introduced many more people to EIA. Andy Rouse, who we featured a year ago, has donated over £1,000 from the proceeds of his book Tiger, a celebration of life. Nicola Shepherd and Sue Harris donated over £900 in celebration from a wedding and a party respectively!


© Sue Folle

Brian We are already racing through 2011 and in just the past month we’ve had two hugely successful events. Brian Cox enlightened us about the stars and the universe to a full house. This is a joint event with Save the Rhino, two organisations the late Douglas Adam’s was very passionate about. This is the 9th annual memorial lecture and they go from strength to strength. Brian’s inspirational lecture was accessible to the non-physicist as he revealed mysteries of the universe in a literature littered with ‘billions’ and ‘trillions of years ago’!

© Naturetrek

Z NE © Vin cent Conn a


John Hegley

Bill Odd

You may recall Dan Cockril, Tony Husband and friends organised a fantastic event in November, Roar, Imagine a Tiger, with a collection of poets and artists performing including John Hegley, Polar Bear, Charlie Dark and Sean Taylor. Despite tube strikes and adverse weather, they raised a smashing £600! It was a wonderful evening; glass of wine in hand and seated in the comfort of Screen on the Green, away from the cold and the snow. December saw the start of the fundraising initiative with WildAid & Bornfree as we held the UK tiger forum in London. It was a fantastic evening, hosted by Donal McIntyre with Bill Oddie as guest speaker. Virginia McKenna and Liz Bonnin attended and even Brian May was there (for a short time); 300 of you turned up to find out how the tiger fares following the International Tiger Forum in St Petersburg.


Naturetrek, long-term supporter of EIA donated £7,000 last year and Paperchase donated over £12,000 from Christmas card proceeds, so a huge thank-you to both. Pupils from Quintin Kynaston school in London held a fundraising day after being taught more about EIA’s undercover investigations; they went on to make t-shirts, posters, presentations and more. Members of the SOAS veg society raised funds from a bakesale in London. Students at Colyton Grammar School in Devon held an assembly about EIA and tigers, and the young James Lane is working on an ambitious project to… find out more in his profile below. Looking forward, supporter James Holloway is entering the London 10k run for us in July. We wish him all the best.

Summer raffle Congratulations to Miss Robin, Mr Burns and Mrs Bacon who were our three winners from the winter raffle. Here is the opportunity once more to win £1000 and raise much needed funds for EIA at the same time. The more tickets you buy the greater your chances of winning are. Be an ambassador for EIA and sell more tickets to your family, friends and colleagues. We are drawing the raffle on the 1st September, be sure to return all your stubs by then. Good Luck!

If you feel inspired to run, climb or bake for us, do let us know and we will feature you in these pages.

Supporter Profile © Mike Dool


James Lane, founder of Respect and Honour Nature, is just 17, passionate and ambitious about the environment and encouraging young people to take the initiative. He tells us a little more about why he’s dedicated to saving the wild tiger and how he’s supporting EIA.

ers Save Wild Tig

© Wild Aid


Tiger in A rt This is a QR code, the new generation of barcodes. If you own a Smartphone, use your barcode scanner or Google goggles, scan this code and join EIA in our virtual realm…


“The idea of RHN originated from a survey, in Kenwood Park, on whether climate change is natural, manmade or does not exist. This then gave birth to an non-profit organisation devoted to combating climate change and raising funds to protect the rainforests and endangered species. On a more personal note, I was motivated to start the environmental concept of ‘saving the world’ by the severe lack of knowledge among the public about global warming. Our two main aims are to raise awareness about the dangers of climate change and how to avoid it and to fundraise for our various charitable campaigns via a unique method whereby young children use and expand their

entrepreneurial skills Ja mes La to create fundraising ne events. We are currently going around primary schools teaching about the plight of the tiger and helping to motivate children to start their fundraising events; in addition, we are hosting discos and gigs to raise money for our current project. “The EIA has been an inspiration due to their commitment to fight against the illegal wildlife trade in order to make the various big cats, elephants and other endangered species have a safe haven to live in, and also therefore protecting all that lives alongside those protected animals. This is why RHN has chosen to support the EIA so that the tigers, their prey and their forest habitat can be allowed to be left in peace to resume nature’s cycle.”

EIA founder receives OBE THE work of EIA co-founder and chairman Allan Thornton has taken him into many different environments, but few perhaps as rarified as the hallowed halls of royalty. Canadian-born Allan visited Buckingham Palace in December to receive the award of Officer of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his outstanding work to protect the environment. “I am honoured to receive an OBE in recognition of the work of the entire EIA team, many of whom risk their lives to document and expose major environmental crimes by powerful syndicates around the world,” he said. “Allan was born in Windsor, Ontario, in 1949. He began his long career as an environmental activist when he volunteered with Greenpeace in Canada and in 1976 came to London, where he set up and was twice Executive Director of its British office. He was also a co-founder of Greenpeace’s famed flagship, The Rainbow Warrior. Setting up EIA in 1984 with fellow activists Dave Currey and Jennifer Lonsdale, he helped to pioneer the organisation’s groundbreaking approach to activism which continues to this day. Working from EIA’s US office, which opened in Washington DC in 1989, Allan recently spearheaded a lengthy campaign to ban imports of illegal timber, resulting in the US Congress banning imports of illegally-logged wood in May 2008. He is currently involved in EIA’s efforts to expose the illegal trade in elephant ivory. “EIA will continue to fight to expose the crimelords behind illegal logging and the ivory trade, and all those profiteering from the ransacking of the environment,” he vowed. “We have to do more to protect our beautiful world.”

Investigator - Summer 2011  

Our bi-annual newsletter on our latest work

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you