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Andrea Crosta

Co-founder of Elephant Action League & WildLeaks, founding & board member of the Wildlife Justice Commission (WJC)in The Hague.

BACKGROUND / Academic and professional background

Master in Natural Science; Master in Business & Innovation; BSc in Psychology.

Andrea Crosta has 25 years of experience in conservation and over 15 years of experience in high-level security, intelligence & risk management.

He is the Executive Director and co-founder of the U.S. based Elephant Action League (EAL) and since 1989 he has been involved in a variety of conservation and investigative projects around the world. In 2012 he was a part of the 2-man team that uncovered the link between the illegal ivory trade and the Somali terrorist group al Shabaab.

In 2014 he launched WildLeaks, the world’s first whistleblower initiative dedicated to serious wildlife and forest crime, and to the corruption around it. He is also a founding and board member of the recently established Wildlife Justice Commission (WJC), in The Hague, a new and highly innovative, international accountability mechanism designed to investigate serious wildlife crimes and pressure governments to activate justice, by inciting judicial or other repressive action against those most responsible for transnational organized wildlife crime.

For over 15 years he has been also working as an international consultant to companies and governmental agencies on high-end security services, homeland security, technologies, investigation and risk management, a unique knowledge that he now applies to the protection of the environment. As an entrepreneur, in 1998 he founded ‘Think Italy’, one of the very first e-commerce companies in Italy.

ACHIEVEMENT/ What is the project/initiative/startup/company you will be presenting at the Positive Economy Forum all about?

The Wildlife Justice Commission (WJC) and WildLeaks, two examples of innovative and courageous thinking, needed to activate justice for wildlife crime, support the communities and economies threatened by these crimes and preserve endangered eco-systems.

LOCATION/ In which city, country, part of the world do you conduct your activities?

The two organizations are legally based respectively in The Netherlands and the U.S., with activities conducted worldwide, especially in Africa and Asia.

IMPACT/ What is the positive economic, social, political, environmental…of the activity, project, initiative, startup, company?

The trade of natural resources is at the interface of development and wildlife conservation, inextricably linked with the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

On the contrary, wildlife and forest crime (with a global value estimated to be a minimum of $19 billion per year, the fourth biggest illicit transnational commodity trafficked worldwide) and the increased involvement of international organized criminal networks, associated with other illicit traffics, money laundering and corruption, undermines security and the potential to achieve sustainable development objectives.

Efforts to combat wildlife crime have had insufficient impact until now. In many countries, national criminal justice systems are as yet inadequate to deal with transnational organized wildlife crime due to lack of good governance, political will, resources and capacity and rampant corruption. Those who profit most from wildlife crime and those who provide cover for it often enjoy impunity, and are untouchable.

There are numerous studies identifying the link between a strong justice sector and sustainable development.

The positive impact of initiatives such as the Wildlife Justice Commission and WildLeaks is the end of pervasive impunity by activating justice for wildlife crime, combating corruption and holding governments accountable for inaction. As a result, those initiatives have also a significant impact on national and international security, economic and social development of local communities, human exploitation and public awareness.

QUOTE/ A saying, quote or reference phrase that tells something about you.

“People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built”. Eleanor Roosevelt