Abu Dhabi, June 3 (IANS/WAM) The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) flag carrier Etihad Airways along with five partner airlines has signed a declaration committing to fight illegal wildlife trafficking and efforts to help protect species.
The Declaration of the United for Wildlife International Taskforce on the Transportation of Illegal Wildlife Products was signed at International Air Transport Association’s (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.
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 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,” Hogan added.
The declaration includes 11 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.