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Environmental Investigation Agency

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The Environmental Investigation Agency – 30 game-changing years of exposing environmental crime and exploitation
By Paul Newman EIA
September 2014

The London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is a campaigning organisation like no other, and September 17, 2014 marked 30 years of working on the front lines to expose environmental crime and exploitation.

EIA Investigator

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

Carving out a solid reputation for investigations and campaigns, EIA works on a wide range of environmental crimes including illegal wildlife trade (tigers, elephants and cetaceans), illegal logging, hazardous waste and trade in climate- and ozone-altering chemicals.

EIA differs from other NGOs in its 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

“The reason for their success is not just the information gathered, it is the way they use it as a political lobbying tool. One of Britain’s most effective conservation groups” – BBC Wildlife Magazine

“EIA performs an extremely important role in investigating various abuses of the natural world. I believe it deserves support from anyone concerned about the future of the living world” – Sir Peter Scott, conservationist and WWF founder

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. EIA’s 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;
  • contributing to the closure of 53 illegal mines in prime tiger habitat in India;
  • exposing rife elephant poaching in Tanzania and Zambia in 2010 and so directly defeating their bids to sell stockpiled ivory;
  • 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.

EIA has an extensive archive of stills and footage from its 30 years of investigations, which can be made available to the Media on request. Please watch the following examples:

Visit: www.eia-international.org & facebook.com/environmentalinvestigationagency & @EIAinvestigator

EIA has one of the world's largest archive of footage devoted to the illegal trade in wildlife products and other environmentally damaging commodities. The collection is data-based and is available on a professional basis to journalists, publishers and programme-makers. All the funds raised from the sale of this archive help to fund future campaigns. The visual media you see on this website is indicative of what is available in the whole collection. Contact: communications@eia-international.org for further information or to find out about footage sales.


Balaenoptera Legacy - 30 Years On from EIA
A short film to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Environmental Investigation Agency
Shot on C100 graded with FilmConvert

EIA Investigator

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