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What on Earth?
We investigate and campaign against environmental crime and abuse.
May 31, 2022
Ban it and keep on banning it … the high cost to elephants of restarting legal ivory trade
Last week, Zimbabwe hosted what it called an ‘Elephant Summit’ for itself and several other African nations – including Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia – with the aim of restarting the legal international trade in ivory and selling off their stockpiled elephant tusks. And in sharp juxtaposition to this potentially lethal movie, the UK Ivory Act is due to come into effect next week, banning virtually all trade in ivory in the country. In this episode, EIA Senior Wildlife Campaigner Lindsey Smith and Wildlife Campaigner Rachel Mackenna take a look at these latest developments affecting elephant conservation and consider likely next steps.
May 25, 2022
Will a new national strategy to tackle environmental crime tame Nigeria’s Wild West?
In this edition, special guest Wilson Ogoke, Wildlife Policy Coordinator with the Africa Nature Investors Foundation, talks with EIA Wildlife campaigners Philip Rekret and Justin Gosling about the country’s new environmental crime strategy and how effective it may prove to be.
Apr 6, 2022
Plastic pollution is in the air, land and seas – and now it’s been found in our blood
Billions of tonnes of plastics have been produced by human beings and it can be found polluting every corner of the planet, from the highest mountains to the deepest seas. New research has just revealed that it’s also present in human blood. In this edition, we’re delighted to be joined by special guest Ben Jack, Programme Director of Common Seas, to talk about his organisation’s ground-breaking findings and by EIA Ocean Campaigner Tom Gammage to consider how this new research could contribute to a global plastics treaty.
Mar 4, 2022
We’re facing a grim future under runaway climate change – but we don’t have to choose it
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change this week published its latest report pulling together all the latest data on global warming and its impacts and it makes for particularly harrowing reading. In this edition, EIA Climate Campaigner Sophie Geoghegan unpacks the main findings of the report and explains why, despite a grim outlook, it’s not a future we have to be locked into.
Feb 18, 2022
A global plastics treaty – why the world needs one and how it’s getting closer to reality
In just a few days, the United Nations Environment Assembly is due to start work on the creation of a global plastics treaty to tackle the very real planetary emergency of plastic pollution. In this edition, Christina Dixon, EIA Ocean Campaigns Deputy Leader, talks about why the world so urgently needs an international agreement to tackle the plastics crisis and how close we may be to achieving one.
Dec 8, 2021
A climate for action – as the dust settles on CoP26, what’s next in the fight against climate change?
The UN CoP26 climate change summit threw an international focus on global warming and what needs to be done to mitigate its worst potential impacts – but was the conference a success or a failure? And what needs to happen next to avert catastrophe? Climate campaigners Sophie Geoghegan and Kim O’Dowd join Paul Newman to reflect on the outcomes of CoP26 and discuss what needs to happen next.
Oct 8, 2021
Plastic waste: ‘A terrible and insidious threat to human and environmental health’
Following the launch of the new EIA report The Truth Behind Trash, Ocean campaigners Tom Gammage and Lauren Weir talk about the scale and impact of the problem and what EIA is doing to help address it.
Aug 2, 2021
A dam too far – playing destructive power politics in the heart of a World Heritage wilderness
EIA’s Elephant Campaign Team has called for the Selous to be stripped of its World Heritage status due to the damage caused by construction of a massive hydropower project, but the World Heritage Committee stopped far short of taking such a step. Wildlife Campaigner Rachel Mackenna explains why we were pressing for delisting and talks about what actually happened at the meeting and what might be next for the Selous.
Jul 15, 2021
The chilling illegal trade that’s helping to dangerously heat up the world
As another major bust of 17 tonnes of illegal HFC gases is made in Europe just days after the release of our new report Europe’s Most Chilling Crime, Climate Campaigner Sophie Geoghegan discusses the findings of our undercover investigations and looks at what needs to be done to tackle the illegal trade. Read and download the report and watch our shocking short film.
Jun 11, 2021
How our new global Tracker zeroes in on environmental crime data
Plundering the world’s precious natural resources is a multi-billion dollar business and, as such, keeping on top of the facts, statistics, seizures and trends of environmental crime means understanding huge amounts of raw data – data which can now be much more easily managed with EIA’s new Global Environmental Crime Tracker. This week, Mel Butler, our Senior Intelligence Analyst, talks about this innovative, first-of-its-kind tool, who will be able to use it and plans to expand it in the near future. But don’t just take our word for the benefits of the Tracker – come and see for yourself when we host a live, free online public demonstration of its capabilities at 1.30pm BST on Tuesday, 15 June! Sign up now to participate in the demo, which will feature a Q&A session after Mel has introduced the Tracker.
Apr 26, 2021
Africa’s epicentre of pangolin scale and ivory trade – tackling the drivers of wildlife crime
Just a few short years ago, pangolins were said to be the most trafficked species you’ve never heard of, poached for their meat and scales, but they became much more famous after they were potentially connected to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and, most recently, EIA’s investigations revealed that West and Central Africa have become the epicentre for pangolin scale trafficking to Asia. Chris Hamley, EIA’s Senior Pangolin Campaigner, takes a look at the issues with two of our in-country partners, Adams Cassinga, the Founding Director of Conserv Congo, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Vincent Opyene, the CEO and Founder of the Natural Resource Conservation Network, in Uganda.
Mar 26, 2021
Myanmar: ‘Anybody investing in the natural resource sector is, in essence, supporting the military’
EIA’s Forests team has been working on the ground in Myanmar since the country began to emerge from under the shadow of brutal military dictatorship in 2011, exposing illegal timber trade and helping to provide the tools for meaningful reform of its natural resources sector – but all that changed with the coup on 1 February. Faith Doherty, our Forests Campaigns Leader, and Alec Dawson, Forests Campaigner, give an overview of the situation and look at the implications for those seeking to import precious teak from the country.
Feb 26, 2021
Intelligence Week special - meet the team behind the scenes of so much of our success!
As part of our special Investigator Week to celebrate the team’s work, in this episode we get to talk with Mel, our Senior Intelligence Analyst, and her two colleagues, intelligence analysts Martina and Denitsa, about what they do and why it’s key to our success.
Feb 16, 2021
Checking out on plastics - are the top UK supermarkets doing enough in the fight against plastic pollution
Whether it’s in the oceans or on the land, the scale of plastic pollution is increasingly impossible to ignore and there’s a rising tide of tide of public opinion wanting to see it tackled. Christina Dixon, EIA Senior Ocean Campaigner, reflects on the findings of our recent survey of UK supermarkets and talks about what’s been achieved – and what more needs to be done.
Feb 1, 2021
Exposing the nexus of environmental crime – where the illegal wildlife and timber trades intersect
James Toone, a Senior Campaigner who works across our Wildlife and Forests projects, talks about how timber and wildlife crimes actually have much in common. To tackle environmental criminals more effectively, it’s important to know how they operate and new EIA research has shown major crossovers between wildlife and forest crime. Our campaigners have conducted a major review of the extensive data gathered in the field and via research to examine the relationship between the different crime streams, with their findings highlighted in the new report Double Impact: The nexus where wildlife and forest crime overlap.
Jan 29, 2021
Out of Africa - why West and Central Africa is a hotspot for ivory and pangolin trafficking
In the week that we released our new illegal wildlife trade report Out of Africa, Senior Wildlife Campaigner Shruti Suresh and Senior Pangolin Campaigner Chris Hamley discuss its findings and what needs to be done to address the situation as a matter of urgency.
Nov 5, 2020
How wildlife criminals have adapted to work from home under pandemic lockdown
The global coronavirus pandemic has dramatically curtailed the way human society functions, impacting on just about every aspect of modern life – but some things never change and wildlife crime has continued throughout the crisis. Just as many of us have been compelled to work from home, so too have wildlife criminals and our latest research shows that many of them have adapted swiftly to changing circumstances to continue their deadly trade.
Oct 30, 2020
Why should you care about what’s going on with Vietnam’s timber sector?
New timber import regulations came into effect today (30 October) in Vietnam – which is currently implementing an agreement with the European Union to keep illicit timber out of its huge wood furniture industry. This week, Forests Campaigner Thomas Chung talks about the long road to achieving legal timber and why it’s so important for both producer countries and the markets they serve. (Left to right) Paul Newman - Press and Communications Officer, Thomas Chung - Forests Campaigner eia-interntaional.org
Jul 2, 2020
Following the money – hitting the illegal wildlife trade where it hurts
The global illegal wildlife trade is worth billions every year, money which fuels further environmental crime, drives corruption and undermines sustainable development and conservation – but these huge profits are seldom targeted. In this edition, Julian Newman, EIA’s Campaigns Director, talks with Press & Communications Officer Paul Newman about how it’s possible to track down the financial flows and how tackling money laundering can be a vital weapon in the fight against illegal wildlife trade by hitting major wildlife criminals where it hurts most – in their pockets. (Left to right) Paul Newman – Press and Communications Officer, Julian Newman - Campaigns Director eia-interntaional.org
Jun 23, 2020
Tipping the scales in our favour - the burning case for urgent action to tackle climate change
Our attention may be consumed by the coronavirus crisis, but the very real threat of climate change hasn’t gone anywhere. Although the world is fast approaching potentially irreversible climate change tipping points, swift action to tackle refrigerant greenhouse gases could go a long way to help. (Left to right) Paul Newman – Press and Communications Officer, Fionnuala Walravens - Senior Climate Campaigner, Tim Grabiel – Senior Lawyer. eia-interntaional.org
Jun 4, 2020
Not-so-fantastic plastic - why the world needs a global treaty to end plastic pollution
Humans produce a staggering 275 million tonnes of plastic waste a year and very little of it is recycled – mostly, it ends up in the environment, polluting land and sea while having a terrible impact on our natural world. Could the solution be a new global treaty to join forces and fight it together? Tim Grabiel, a Senior Lawyer working on EIA’s Climate and Ocean campaigns, talks with Press & Communications Officer Paul Newman to make the case for an international Convention on Plastic Pollution. eia-interntaional.org
Apr 29, 2020
Is the coronavirus pandemic a warning to stop exploiting wildlife?
The coronavirus pandemic has plunged a third of the world’s population into lockdown and thrown a harsh spotlight on our dysfunctional and exploitative relationship with wildlife. Is it a warning to seriously mend our ways? Aron White, an EIA Wildlife Campaigner and China Specialist, has already given the low-down to news outlets around the world – now you can listen to him first-hand in the latest EIA podcast with Press & Communications Officer Paul Newman. eia-interntaional.org
Apr 23, 2020
Why is Indonesia abandoning its timber export regulations?
Twenty years ago, the chaos and violence in Indonesia’s forests spurred efforts to put an end to industrial-scale illegal logging and to keep stolen wood out of the country’s exports – but now the Government wants to significantly water down the rules, using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse. In this podcast, Faith Doherty, EIA Forests Campaign Leader, and Mardi Minangsari, from Indonesian partner Kaoem Telapak and also an EIA Forests Campaigner, talk with Press & Communications Officer Paul Newman about why this is happening, the likely impacts and the outlook for Indonesia's rainforests. eia-interntaional.org