The signing of a new declaration at Buckingham Palace committing the leaders of the global transportation industry to major steps to fight criminal wildlife trafficking has been hailed by The Duke of Cambridge as ‘a game changer in the race against extinction.’
Mr David Tongue, Secretary General of INTERCARGO together with 39 CEOs, Chairmen, and other leaders of airlines, shipping firms, port operators, customs agencies, intergovernmental organisations and conservation charities from around the world have become the founding signatories of the Declaration of the United for Wildlife International Taskforce on the Transportation of Illegal Wildlife Products. The Buckingham Palace Declaration is the result of a year’s worth of meetings, research, and coalition building by the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce, convened by The Duke of Cambridge and chaired at His Royal Highness’s request by Lord Hague of Richmond. Transport representatives on the Taskforce include companies and organisations based in China, USA, UAE, Kenya, the UK and Denmark.
The Buckingham Palace Declaration commits signatories to eleven commitments that will raise standards across the transportation industry to prevent traffickers from exploiting weaknesses as they seek to covertly move their products from killing field to marketplace. The commitments focus on information sharing, staff training, technological improvements, and resource sharing across companies and organisations worldwide. They will also see the world’s leading transportation firms assisting those in poorer nations who are in need of expertise and new systems.
The work of the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce has been strongly supported not only by the transport sector but a number of intergovernmental agencies including the World Customs Organisation, the United Nations Development Programme and importantly the Convention on Illegal Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) – the world’s regulatory instrument on trade in endangered species.