03 Jun 2016 10:40
Five Etihad Airways equity partner airlines signed up to the Buckingham Palace Declaration, committing to major steps to fight illegal wildlife trafficking and efforts to help protect many of the world's iconic wildlife species. The Declaration of the United for Wildlife International Taskforce on the Transportation of Illegal Wildlife Products was signed at the IATA Annual General Meeting in Dublin.
Alitalia, airberlin, Air
Serbia, Air Seychelles and Virgin Australia signed the Declaration following
the lead of Etihad Airways which became a signatory in March this year.
United for Wildlife is an
alliance of conservation organisations and The Royal Foundation of The Duke and
Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The initiative aims to address current
conservation issues with an initial focus on supporting efforts to prevent the
growing trade in illegal wildlife and products around the world. The Transport
Taskforce, launched at the World Bank in December 2014, has identified specific
actions that the transport industry can take in supporting what HRH the Duke of
Cambridge refers to as ‘the race against extinction’.
Jet Airways signed the
Declaration in April to coincide with the visit to India by the Duke and
Duchess of Cambridge.
Etihad Aviation Group
President and Chief Executive Officer, James Hogan said: “Having six of the
Etihad equity partner airlines as signatories ensures a more extensive and impactful
result over 348 destinations. Led by our Head of Sustainability we are
developing a group wide action plan to help prevent this abhorrent practice.”
The Rt Hon Lord Hague
of Richmond, Chair of the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce welcomed the
commitment of Etihad Airways and its partner airlines saying: "Combating the Illegal wildlife trade
through all modes of transport is essential to tackling the problem. I commend
Etihad Airways and its partner airlines for signing this declaration and taking
an active step in supporting this initiative."
The Declaration includes
eleven commitments developed to support global efforts to prevent illegal
wildlife smuggling, which encourage the transport industry to specifically help
shut down the routes exploited by wildlife traffickers. Airlines are able to
support in a number of ways including increasing passenger awareness, providing
capacity building at airports and working closely to support the efforts of
customs and law enforcement authorities.