Air Transport Companies in Southern Africa Commit to Tackle Illegal Wildlife Trade

Feb 06, 2020

Johannesburg, February 2020 – The United for Wildlife (UfW) Transport Taskforce and the USAID Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES) Partnership convened air transport stakeholders from Southern Africa last week to establish a new regional taskforce that will combat wildlife trafficking in aviation.

Together, representatives from key air transport companies, associations, and partner organizations in Southern Africa committed to an action plan that will raise the profile of illegal wildlife trade within the sector and implement strategies to break wildlife trafficking supply chains.  

This regional taskforce initiative is an innovative and industry-driven collaboration. South African Airways, the Airlines Association of Southern Africa, and South African Express Airways, agreed to lead the taskforce, with support from UfW, ROUTES, the International Association of Air Transport, and Airports Council International. ROUTES Lead, Michelle Owen, presented the wide array of training materials, toolkits, informational materials, and data resources that have been developed under the Partnership that can strengthen air transport’s activities in the region.   

By the meeting’s end, the message was clear: Southern Africa’s air transport sector is willing and ready to combat wildlife trafficking collaboratively. Participants agreed that it will be necessary to facilitate a close information exchange and coordinate strategic collective action going forward.