Monday, December 14, 2015

Freight Container Terminal Operator and Logistics Groups Agree on Endangered Wildlife Protection

Meeting in London Sees Principles Designed to End Illegal Trade
Shipping News Feature
WORLDWIDE – In October we told how Dubai based, freight container terminal operator DP World hosted a meeting on home ground for the seven international conservation organisations which make up the United for Wildlife organisation, a discussion which led to London this month when eleven principles were agreed upon by logistics representatives and conservation groups designed to help tackle the $19 billion illegal wildlife trade which sees ever more endangered species being transferred, dead or alive, around the globe.

Described as ‘ground breaking’ this latter meeting saw the United for Wildlife International Taskforce on the Transportation of Illegal Wildlife Products finalise the document that will shape the efforts of its transport and logistics sector members in the future. This ‘Declaration and Commitments’ paper covers a raft of issues from information sharing and detection, practical measures to stop the transportation of illegal wildlife products, and a common determination to tackle the illegal trade, wherever it may be.

The United for Wildlife Taskforce is a collaboration between key partners from the transport industry, international bodies and conservation organisations which was convened by HRH the Duke of Cambridge and is committed to focusing increased attention on efforts to combat the illegal wildlife trade as one of the most pressing conservation issues of our time. HE Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World, said:

“Ports are gateways to world trade and as pillars of economies they play a vital role in enabling commerce to thrive for the benefit of all. Yet traffickers in illegal wildlife products can also use transport connectivity to profit from their activity.

“That’s why we all need to work together to tackle the issue and only by partnership can we succeed for the long term. Promoting greater awareness and vigilance within the maritime sector, port operators, customs organisations, customers and suppliers, encouraging greater cooperation is key. We owe it to the world, our partners, our communities and to the magnificent wildlife that shares this planet with us.”

Since the initial meeting in Dubai further insights on the workings of Dubai Customs at Jebel Ali Port have been given, providing a detailed insight into security measures and monitoring in a bid to share and implement best practice globally. The company is also writing to customers, global port operators, its 36,000 strong workforce around the world to highlight the agreement and to underline the need for co-operation in the transport and logistics sector.

Taskforce members led by the Rt Hon the Lord Hague of Richmond include DP World; World Customs Organisation (WCO); Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS); Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES); International Air Transport Association (IATA); International Maritime Organisation (IMO); World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF); Wildlife Conservation Society; Wildlife Conservation Association; Emirates Airlines; DLA Piper; Kenya Airways; IATA; United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); A.P. Moller Maersk; Maersk Line; COSCO Container Lines; Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) and DHL.

Illegal Wildlife Trade – the facts

• The African elephant population has been cut in half since the 1970s due to ivory poaching. Between 35,000 to 50,000 African Elephants are poached a year.

• According to the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) there are 5,000 tigers being kept in US backyards - there are only around 3,000 left in the wild around the world.

• Three rhinos are poached every day. Despite scientific evidence refuting the medical benefits of rhino horn demand for this product remains high.

• Around 28,000 freshwater turtles are traded each day. Around 80% of Asia’s freshwater turtle species are in danger of extinction.

Photo: Rt Hon the Lord Hague of Richmond and DP World Group CEO Mohammed Sharaf with United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce members during their meeting in London recently.