PLATINUM2023

Earth League International

The Intelligence Agency for Earth

aka ELI   |   Los Angeles, CA   |  https://earthleagueinternational.org/

Mission

Established in February 2013, Earth League International (ELI) is an innovative nonprofit organization that merges the worlds of intelligence, investigations, and conservation in service of wildlife and the people who protect it. We protect wildlife, oceans and forests through investigative & research operations, analysis, targeting illegal wildlife supply chains, environmental criminal organizations, international wildlife traffickers, and corrupt government officials. Our team and network of collaborators include professionals who have been working in the intelligence and investigation fields for decades, mostly for top governmental agencies, including the FBI and other government agencies. We are featured in the Netflix documentary 'THE IVORY GAME' and NatGeo 'SEA OF SHADOWS.'

Ruling year info

2014

Executive Director

Andrea Crosta

Main address

PO Box 661623

Los Angeles, CA 90066 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Elephant Advocacy League

Elephant Action League

EIN

46-2395314

NTEE code info

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

Crime Prevention N.E.C. (I20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Wildlife crime, including illegal fishing and illegal logging, is a multi-billion dollar illegal business with a huge impact on species, habitats and people. It is our contention that professionally run intelligence and investigative activities are currently the most important tools for fighting wildlife crime. The intelligence-led approach is needed to integrate the more traditional “reactive” conservation models with a more proactive, impactful, and disruptive approach. As with the fight against other international threats, such as terrorism, drug trafficking or organized crime, intelligence should be at the center of our efforts to fight wildlife crime. It is, and should be used as, a strategic resource to focus investigation and law enforcement activities, policy changes and funding.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Wildlife crime in Eastern and Southern Africa

Intelligence-gathering and investigations into wildlife criminal networks, traffickers, poachers and brokers.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Collection of intelligence and investigations on the major wildlife trafficking networks in South East Asia.
Collaboration with local law enforcement agencies.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Intelligence gathering and investigations on wildlife trafficking networks, illegal traders and brokers.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Intelligence-gathering and investigations into the illegal trade of the totoaba fish, which threatens the survival of the vaquita, the rarest cetacean in the worlds.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Intelligence collection and investigations into the poaching and trafficking of wildlife from Latin America, including jaguar parts, birds and reptiles.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Researching and investigating the most important international trafficking networks and organized crime groups behind the illegal trade of shark fins.

Population(s) Served

Jaguars are poached and their parts trafficked to China.
We investigate the most important trafficking and poaching networks behind the illegal trade of jaguar's parts from Latin America to Asia and China.
We published various public reports and several confidential briefs for law enforcement agency to facilitate the arrests and prosecutions of the main traffickers.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Awards

Best Documentary 2017

Wildscreen Film Festival

Impact Award 2019

The International Festival of Environmental Cinema, Barcelona

Impact Award 2019

EarthX, Dallas

Conservation Heros 2019

Jackson Hole Wild Summit

Affiliations & memberships

IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature 2020

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of people influenced to undertake conservation action

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Wildlife trafficking crime in China and South East Asia

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Through the Netflix documentary "The Ivory Game" and the National Geographic documentary "Sea of Shadows", we reached (and still reach) millions of people around the world.

Number of arrests, court proceedings, and/or sentences that are covered by at least one national media

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Adolescents

Related Program

Illegal trade of the totoaba fish from Mexico to China / the survival of the Vaquita

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Arrests and law enforcement operations in South Africa, Thailand, Mexico, Bolivia and US

Number of national media pieces on the topic

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Adolescents

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

ELI’s work has been featured in hundreds of articles on the most important media in the world, including The New Yorker, National Geographic, CNN, The Guardian, Liberation, Wired, New York Times, PBS

Number of rallies/events/conferences/lectures held to further mission

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of investigative and intelligence field missions in over 30 countries

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Adolescents

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In Africa, Asia, North America, Latin America and Central America, Europe

Number of Confidential Reports provided to law enforcement agencies

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We shared confidential information with many governmental agencies on the most important international wildlife trafficking networks. We shared with US Homeland Security, US Fish & Wildlife, Interpol

Number of Species protected by our work

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Adolescents

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

rhino, elephant, lion, pangolin, tiger, jaguar, sharks, vaquita, marine animals, birds, forests

Number of young chimpanzees rescued around Africa

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Number of top-level documentaries where we are featured

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Adolescents

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

Netflix: 'The Ivory Game' National Geographic/Disney: 'Sea of Shadows' Wild Daze

Number of anonymous submissions received by our portal WildLeaks

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Adolescents

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

The project has received hundreds of submissions from individuals in over 30 countries, including China, Hong Kong, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, India, Finland, Russia, Thailand, etc.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Earth League International (ELI) works to merge the worlds of intelligence, investigation, and conservation in the service of wildlife, forests, oceans, and the people who protect them. At its core, ELI uniquely applies professional intelligence expertise to disrupt the proliferation of wildlife crime around the world. Intelligence is the knowledge – ideally the foreknowledge – that ELI, its partners, and governmental authorities can employ to safeguard wildlife and people, and respond to very concrete threats to the environment.

In most countries, at a government level, combating wildlife crime is unfortunately not a priority and almost always remains overlooked and poorly understood.

This is why it is important the work of organizations like ELI, entirely focused on wildlife crime, with a solid intelligence-based and investigative approach, and with the aim of concretely helping local and international law enforcement agencies by not only conducting independent professionally run intelligence and investigative operations, but also by providing trusted law enforcement the resources and the knowledge, and by sharing actionable intelligence needed to disrupt those networks, including information that can be used for seizures, arrests and prosecutions.

ELI supplies its extensive skills and combined experience, both intelligence and law enforcement professionals, to a variety of crime-related environmental emergencies. This intelligence-led approach encompasses information-gathering, intelligence production (collection, corroboration, and analysis) and dissemination, and professional investigations targeting many operational scenarios. It is this expertise and flexibility that allows ELI to operate in situations and locations where other NGOs or governmental agencies are unable or unwilling to operate.It is our contention that professionally run intelligence and investigative activities are currently the most important tools for fighting environmental crime, especially wildlife crime. The intelligence-led approach is needed to integrate the more traditional “reactive" conservation models with a more proactive, impactful, and disruptive approach.

As with the fight against other international threats, such as terrorism, drug trafficking or organized crime, intelligence should be at the center of our efforts to fight wildlife crime. It is, and should be used as, a strategic resource to focus investigation and law enforcement activities, policy changes and funding.

Information gathering activities, intelligence production and undercover operations are exceedingly cost effective methods of tackling environmental crimes. HUMINT, or HUMan INTelligence, and other forms of intelligence, if used with a strategic long-term vision, can also lead to the reduction of what is now called the “militarization of conservation", the violence that surrounds environmental crimes, with its very high human toll.

Professionally run intelligence and investigative activities are the most important tools we have against wildlife crime. Intelligence is the knowledge – ideally the foreknowledge – that our organization and partners must have to safeguard wildlife and people, and respond to very concrete threats to the environment and to us all.

Fighting wildlife crime is not just about awareness campaigns or deploying the latest technology to remote areas; organized, competent, and effective law enforcement is a substantial and much-needed deterrence. So is telling the complete story.

Many threats to our wildlife and forests, particularly poaching and trafficking, cannot be addressed only through awareness or demand reduction campaigns. Even funding and empowering rangers to protect wildlife on the ground is not enough. Due to the complexity, international reach, and organized criminal networks associated with wildlife poaching and trafficking, only professional intelligence and investigative activities can effectively shine a light on and thwart these crimes.

The result of this delicate investigative work is that ELI is able to:

Inform the public and policymakers about the means by which specific wildlife and forest crimes are performed;

Investigate along the entire supply chain and Identify the players throughout the criminal networks; and

Provide national and international law enforcement with information and evidence that can lead to further investigations, arrests, and dissolution of criminal networks.

Earth League International (formerly Elephant Action League) was launched in 2013 to fight wildlife crime and protect the species, habitats and ecosystems it threatens. ELI's team brings decades of collective experience in high-level security, investigation and professional intelligence gathering to the global conservation movement, increasingly vital for tackling one of the single biggest threats to elephants, rhinoceros, and many other critically endangered species.

Through deep-cover field investigations, innovative tech initiatives, and support to local and international law enforcement agencies, ELI exposes the key players and modus operandi of vast criminal networks that are perpetrating and profiting from wildlife crime so they can be stopped and brought to justice. 

In less than five years, ELI has:

• though periodic Confidential Intelligence Briefs (CIBs), provided unique and timely information on trafficking networks, transit points and key players to trusted contacts in law enforcement agencies working at various levels, including in China, Hong Kong, Mexico, Thailand, South Africa, as well as law enforcement agencies in the US and EU.

• facilitated the arrest of more than a dozen individuals (high-level wildlife traffickers and/or poachers) in Southern Africa and South East Asia;

• conducted two of the most important undercover investigations on ivory and rhino horn trafficking in China and Vietnam in the past decade (Operation Red Cloud and Operation Game Over);

- Conducted the most comprehensive undercover investigation to date on illegal fishing in Mexico, the illegal trade of totoaba to China and the possible extinction of the vaquita (Operation Fake Gold).

• strengthened public engagement in wildlife crime reporting and prevention by developing WildLeaks. Built on TOR technology, WildLeaks enables members of civil society to anonymously provide tips and evidence of wildlife crime in instances where reporting directly to local law enforcement might compromise their safety or livelihood.

• raised global awareness around the devastating human and ecological toll of wildlife crime through several public investigation reports and two of the most important documentaries ever produced:
- 'The Ivory Game' (Netflix), on the illegal ivory trade from Africa to China
- 'Sea of Shadows' (Premiere at Sundance 2019), on illegal fishing in Mexico, the illegal trade of totoaba to China and the possible extinction of the vaquita.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time

Financials

Earth League International
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Earth League International

Board of directors
as of 09/03/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Scott Atkinson

Heidrick & Struggles

Term: 2021 -

Andrea Crosta

Francesco Rocca

Scott Atkinson

Anna Rathmann

John Stewart

Gina Brogi

Rachel Konrad

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/3/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/20/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.