Air Canada Cargo signs up to combat illegal wildlife trafficking

By Damian Brett

Air Canada Cargo has become the latest airline to sign up to the United for Wildlife (UFW) Buckingham Palace Declaration that aims to combat the illegal trade in wildlife.

By signing up to the declaration, companies aim to increase passenger, customer, client, and staff awareness about the nature, scale, and consequences of the illegal wildlife trade.

“We recognise that we have an ongoing responsibility to ensure that appropriate measures are implemented to mitigate the risk that wildlife is trafficked through cargo operations and through those of all our service providers,” the cargo business said.

The declaration contains 11 separate commitments that are broadly grouped into the following area of priority and strategy: tackling the trade in illegal wildlife; information sharing and detection; practical measures to stop the transportation of illegal wildlife products; and new mechanisms for tackling illegal wildlife trade.

As part of the Buckingham Palace Declaration, Air Canada Cargo has embarked on certification processes for IATA Environmental Assessment (IEnvA) and Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT).

According to IATA, the international illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth at least $19bn, while the Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES) Partnership said the trade affects more than 7,000 species every year.

The airline also pointed out other measures it is adopting to combat the illegal wildlife trade.

“We have already taken steps to prevent illegal wildlife trafficking,” it said. “Through IATA, we are signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). As such, we do not accept shipments of threatened species or wildlife known as unsustainably traded and their related products for carriage in cargo.”

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