in Features / Airports

ROUTES and IATA combat the trafficking of wildlife

Posted 5 September 2018 · Add Comment

According to the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC – a joint programme of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – wildlife trafficking has become one of the most prominent forms of international crime.

It is estimated to be worth between $7 billion and $21 billion annually and concerns about 7,000 species.
In the past decade, airports in more than 130 countries have experienced incidents of wildlife trafficking.
The most endangered species are pangolins, rhinos, elephants and tigers.
In 2016, more than 5,000kg of ivory was seized at airports, equivalent to the disappearance of two elephants per day. In March 2017, 180kg of rhinoceros horn (representing 60 animals) was seized.
One million pangolins have also been poached during the last decade for their scales.
According to TRAFFIC: “The majority of wildlife products from Africa are smuggled into Asian markets.”
Campaigns have been developed to inform people in China, Vietnam and other Asian markets, with TRAFFIC running numerous social and behavioural consumer communications initiatives.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) partnership aimed at reducing opportunities of unlawful transport of endangered species (ROUTES), led by TRAFFIC, has intensified its training and awareness campaigns with airlines.
This year LAM Mozambique Airlines and Kenya Airways worked with ROUTES to deliver training workshops for cabin crew, ground-handlers, cargo processors, and other regional airport staff.
Airport staff in Mozambique and Kenya have joined others in South Africa, Singapore, and Malaysia as being some of the first to receive comprehensive training from ROUTES on preventing wildlife trafficking through the air transport sector.
In addition, ROUTES recently released ‘flying under the radar’, the most comprehensive assessment of wildlife trafficking in the air transport sector to date.
IATA is an essential partner (representing 280 companies and 83% of global traffic) in this international fight, particularly helping to strengthen agreements, protocols and programmes in the sector. As such, it has just launched a new certification programme – CEIV Live Animals – which, according to Nick Careen, senior VP of airport, passenger, cargo and security, “will provide a reliable quality benchmark”. He adds that the programme increases the level of competency, operations, quality management and reinforces training and compliance across the supply chain.
 

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