Transnational criminal gangs are exploiting the increasingly interconnected air transport system to traffic illegal flora and fauna. Aviation is committed to playing its part in stopping this illegal trade in wildlife, worth at least $19 billion annually.
Although the duty for capturing and prosecuting these criminals rests with national enforcement authorities, airline staff can provide an important source of additional intelligence.
IATA is working with the aviation industry to support the work of enforcement agencies in combating the illegal trade in wildlife.
Want to learn more about the illegal wildlife trade? IATA has launched a 20-minute e-learning module to raise awareness with all aviation staff. The module was originally developed by Etihad Airways in collaboration with TRAFFIC and has been adapted to suit a global audience.
United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce
From airlines to shipping lines – the United for Wildlife (UfW) Transport Taskforce aims to jointly examine the role of the transport industry in the illegal wildlife trade and aims to identify ways the sector can break the chain between suppliers and consumers.
The 2016 IATA Annual General Meeting unanimously endorsed a resolution denouncing the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products and pledging to partner with government authorities and conservation organizations in the fight against the trafficking of protected species.
IATA is among the signatories to the UfW Transport Taskforce Buckingham Palace Declaration which aims to reduce the illegal trade of wildlife. 61 airlines have also signed up as well as a number of other aviation stakeholders, underlining the aviation industry’s commitment to helping end this evil trade.
- IATA press release: Airlines are United for Wildlife
- IATA press release: Airline Industry Pledges to Fight Against Wildlife Trafficking
- IATA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) .
- IATA is also a core member of the Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES) Partnership. More about the IATA-ROUTES partnership. The USAID ROUTES Partnership brings together transport and logistics companies, government agencies, development groups, law enforcement, conservation organizations, academia and donors to disrupt wildlife trafficking activities, and forms a key element of the concerted international response to addressing wildlife poaching and associated criminal activities worldwide.
- The Royal Foundation
- Convention on International Trade in Endangered Speicies of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
- Freeland Foundation
- World Wildlife Fund
- Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Tranport of Edangered Species (ROUTES) partnership
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Awareness training for airline staff
- Flyer: Airlines go Wilder (pdf)
- Flyer: Airlines go Wilder - ASPAC version (pdf)
- Guidance on Prohibited Carriage of Wildlife by Passengers (pdf)
- Best practices for cabin crew: Safe Handling of Escaped Animals (pdf)
- See the posters, training modules and expert contacts developed by the ROUTES Partnership
- The video below, supported by the ROUTES Partnership, highlights the important role front-line workers in the industry can play to catch wildlife traffickers. Use it and share it!
How Aviation Staff Can Help Stop the Illegal Wildlife Trade
This video has been produced for aviation staff, supported by the USAID ROUTES Partnership to highlight the important role front-line workers in the air industry can play to help catch wildlife traffickers.
The following resources are provided by the USAID Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES) Partnership.
- General Awareness Training
- Role Specific Training
- General Wildlife Trafficking Awareness Training Modules
- Regional Training Materials
- Etihad Airways E-learning Course
- Industry Guidance
- Posters inculding some for baggage handler staff rooms
- Image & Video Library
- Other Awareness Resources
- Expert contact list
The following resources are provided by the United for Wildlife to help reduce demand for the illegal wildlife trade:
Playlist: IATA's latest tools to help airlines raise awareness of the illegal wildlife trade with passengers.
There are two versions of the passenger awareness video: the first video with additional story on seahorses that adds an example to showcase how marine wildlife can be trafficked and also highlights the use of Europe as a transit location; and the second video with additional story on ivory that adds an example to showcase how iconic species are trafficked and also highlights the use of the Middle East as a transit location.
For regional awareness raising videos featuring celebrities, check out WildAid’s video playlists.