Air Transport And Illegal Trade In Wildlife
June 2015, Volume 13-3

Extracts from the Address by John E. Scanlon, Secretary-General of CITES at the 71st IATA Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit in Miami, 8 June 2015

… A significant amount of wildlife and wildlife products are legitimately traded each year under CITES. Many of these are transported by air and we have enjoyed a longstanding and beneficial relationship with IATA – especially in relation to CITES requirements for the transport of live animals and plants.

… [today I talk] about the devastating economic, social and environmental impacts of illegal trade in wildlife – being wildlife that is traded in contravention of CITES, how air transport is being used by criminals to transport their contraband and how the air transport sector can further engage in helping to combat this illegal trade…

… Brave rangers serving in the front lines are being killed and injured in the line of duty, officials are being corrupted, and local communities are being deprived of making their own development choices, including through the legitimate use of their wildlife resources.

… Magnificent wildlife destinations are being plundered by poachers for the illicit trade, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites that are being degraded across Africa, such as the Selous Reserve in United Republic of Tanzania – which has been included on the World Heritage ‘in danger’ list due to the high levels of poaching.

… [you] have tens of thousands of staff in the field dealing every day with customers, cargo and passengers and you have a deep knowledge of your own cargo supply chains. Your e-freight initiative offers opportunities for closer collaboration with CITES to better secure legal trade in wildlife through reducing the fraudulent use of permits and in detecting illegal trade.

 

Read the full speech HERE.