On Monday, 12 new air transport companies signed the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce Buckingham Palace Declaration at the International Air Transport Association AGM; marking a significant step forward towards ending illegal wildlife trafficking.
Singapore Airlines Limited, Transportes Aereos Portugeses, Lao Airlines State Enterprise, China Airlines Ltd., Philippine Airlines, Inc., Aerovías de Mexico S.A. de C.V, Air Transat A.T. Inc., Malaysia Airlines Berhad, Royal Brunei Airlines Sdn Bhd, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Air France and EgyptAir represent the new signatories.
United For Wildlife was founded by The Royal Foundation of the UK’s Duke and Duchess of Cambridge along with Prince Harry.
“I believe passionately that we have a duty to prevent critically endangered species from being wiped out,” Prince William who also serves as president of United for Wildlife stated on the organization’s website. “If we get together, everywhere, we can preserve these animals so that they can share our world that’s what United for wildlife is all about, and my I’m proud to be involved.”
United For Wildlife
The United for Wildlife Taskforce unites high-level leaders from the transport industry and representatives from across the world of conservation, along with organizations that have already instated initiatives designed to curb illegal trafficking.
The official proclamation, which Prince William hailed as “a game changer in the race against extinction” was launched in March of last year and obligates participants to take necessary steps to help shut down the routes exploited by illegal wildlife trafficking.
Among the 11 commitments that must be upheld as noted on the organization’s website are the following:
Securing information sharing systems for the transport industry to receive credible information about high risk routes and methods of transportation
Developing a secure system for passing information about suspected illegal wildlife trade from the transport sector to relevant customs and law enforcement authorities
Notifying relevant law enforcement authorities of cargoes suspected of containing illegal wildlife and their products and, where able, refuse to accept or ship such cargoes