SriLankan Airlines joins global crackdown on illegal wildlife trade

ECONOMYNEXT – SriLankan Airlines has joined a worldwide drive to crackdown on illegal global trade in wildlife by sharing intelligence on criminal gangs smuggling animals or their products, and enhancing staff training.

The national carrier was among several international airlines that pledged their full support for the ʻUnited for Wildlifeʼ initiative at the annual general meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on June 2 in Dublin, Ireland.

“We hope this initiative will help to bring many species back from the verge of extinction,” said Suren Ratwatte, chief executive of SriLankan Airlines.

He said in a statement that the initiative will significantly reduce trafficking in illegal species and animal products.

“The air transport network is being exploited by criminal gangs to smuggle animals or their products from the killing field to the market place,” IATA said in a statement.

“The air transport industry can help stop this trade by providing additional intelligence to enforcement authorities about suspicious shipments.”

Through this initiative, airlines have already begun cooperating more closely with global and national law enforcement authorities and international conservation organizations such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

They agreed to share information and intelligence on the illegal trade, and also enhance airline staff training, technological improvements and resource sharing.

An IATA Environment Committee Wildlife Taskforce has been set up to monitor the progress of the initiative, and IATA has also joined a separate USAID Partnership on Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species.
(COLOMBO, June 06 2016)





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