Etihad Airways, UAE Ministry to combat illegal wildlife trafficking

Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airways has launched a collaborative project with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE) in a bid to combat illegal wildlife trafficking.

Etihad Airways recently hosted the Combating Wildlife Trafficking workshop at its headquarters in Abu Dhabi, attended by 37 representatives of national entities and other key stakeholders involved in the fight against wildlife trafficking, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.

Speakers from The Royal Foundation and United for Wildlife discussed the current situation in enforcement in wildlife trafficking and provided an insight into the international methods used to counter smuggling.

The workshop aimed to improve knowledge of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which the UAE has been a signatory to since 1990.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Al Ain Municipality also provided a comprehensive introduction to CITES as well as guidance on CITES permits to help prevent identity forgery and ensure authenticity.

“Wildlife trafficking, particularly in endangered species, is a global concern, and the UAE is no exception. The country has pledged to crack down on the wildlife trafficking cycle, from sellers to buyers, and MOCCAE is leading the efforts,” Muna Omran Majed Al Shamsi, Head of CITES at MoCCAE, said.

She said that the ministry partnered with various public and private sector entities to run awareness campaigns, noting that the joint workshop with Etihad Airways seeks to educate stakeholders on tactics used by wildlife smugglers that are becoming increasingly sophisticated.

“Etihad’s corporate social responsibility program addresses a wide range of global concerns and we are proud of the efforts we have made to ensure the protection of wildlife. We recognize that many animal species around the world are in danger of extinction if efforts are not made to protect them,” Mariam Al Qubaisi, Head of Sustainability, Etihad Aviation Group, said.

Al Qubaisi stressed that hosting this workshop gave the opportunity to collaborate with a number of like-minded organizations to help further this cause.

Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Aviation Group, hosted the 46th Annual Conference of the Animal Transportation Association in Abu Dhabi.

It was announced that Etihad would start to work on its third International Air Transport Association, IATA, certification, IATA CEIV (Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators) Live. The certification will provide further accreditation to support the handling of live animals on Etihad’s cargo planes.

Etihad has drafted it’s own comprehensive Animal Welfare and Conservation Policy, which pledges its support for wildlife conservation. The cargo team enforces strict cargo protocols to prevent the carriage of endangered and threatened species, hunting trophies containing any animal parts, shark fins and live animals intended for use in scientific research.

Source: Bahrain News Agency