LONDON: March 15, 2016. Members of the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce, made up 40 major logistics organizations, NGOs, U.N. and government agencies, are to collaborate in a fight against the illegal trade in wildlife valued at up to US$20 billion a year - the fourth most lucrative global crime after drugs, humans and arms.
After 12 months of meetings in London, Geneva, and Dubai and thousands of hours of work by legal, conservation, transport, and Customs experts, the group has signed the 'Buckingham Palace Declaration' to shut down the international routes exploited by wildlife traffickers.
The members have committed to receive and exchange credible information about high-risk routes and methods of transportation; to develop a secure system for passing information about suspected illegal wildlife trade from the transport sector to relevant Customs and law enforcement; and to notify relevant authorities of cargoes suspected of containing illegal wildlife and their products and, where able, refuse to accept or ship such cargoes.
Speaking at the event, IATA CEO and director general Tony Tyler said he could think of few other causes that galvanize interest and support than the challenge of wildlife trafficking.
Acknowledging "the special commitment and support of the CEOs of Emirates and Kenya Airways" Tyler said IATA airlines now have a formalized relationship with the US Agency for International Development on a Partnership for Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES); the World Customs Organization; and CITES, the U.N. body responsible for regulating the international trade in protected species, which last year signed an agreement with IATA.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World group chairman added: "DP World is proud to be an original member of the United for Wildlife Taskforce and I am delighted that other leading international businesses have joined us today in signing these commitments. This is a landmark moment in the fight to save some of the world's most endangered species. As a global ports operator we have an important role to play as a sustainable business in partnership with Customs authorities in eradicating this morally reprehensible activity."
In addition to more information from the taskforce members below, click on the link for a Freightweek report on the fight against the illegal trade in wildlife: www.freightweek.org/mag/issue11-15/files/4.html
• African Airlines Association • Air China Cargo Co. Ltd. • Airports Council International • Baltic and International Maritime Council • China COSCO Shipping Co. Ltd. • China Post Group Corporation • Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
• Cruise Lines International Association • Danish Shipowners Association • DHL Express UK & Ireland • DLA Piper • Dubai Customs World • DP World • Emirates Airline • Etihad Airways • Hamburg Sud • International Airlines Group • International Air Transport Association • International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners • International Chamber of Shipping • International Maritime Organization • James Fisher Everard • Japanese Shipowners’ Council Ltd.
• Kenya Airways • Liberian Shipowners’ Council Ltd. • Maersk Group • Qantas • Qatar Airways • South African Airways • Stena Line UK • Stolt-Nielsen Ltd. • Sustainable Shipping Initiative • TRAFFIC • UK Chamber of Shipping • UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office • United Nations Development Programme – Global Environment Facility • Wildlife Conservation Society • World Customs Organisation • World Wildlife Fund – UK