Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Freight Sector Representatives Tour Container Port and Discuss Endangered Species Cargo

DP World Hosts the Great and the Good Intent on Stemming the Flow of Illegal Shipments
Shipping News Feature

DUBAI – Anyone familiar with the development of DP World’s London Gateway deep water container port and logistics park on the River Thames will know the company had to jump through many hoops to satisfy the requirements to ensure the project remained as environmentally friendly as possible. Thousands of wild and endangered creatures were removed to suitable environments and treated to replacement facilities to allow them to develop without visible harm. Now it seems the parent company is assisting in a freight related programme to save wildlife elsewhere.

DP World’s flagship Jebel Ali Port was the setting for a meeting of the United for Wildlife Taskforce, a collaboration between seven international conservation organisations established by His Royal Highness, The Duke of Cambridge. The Taskforce is committed to focusing increased attention and action on the most pressing conservation issues of our time, including the multi-million dollar, illegal wildlife trade from Africa to Asia in elephant ivory, rhino horn, big cats and many other species. HE Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World, said:

“Stemming the flow of illegal trade in endangered species is a major issue and as a global ports operator we have an important role to play, in partnership with customs authorities, in eradicating this morally reprehensible activity. As a member of the Taskforce we enjoyed meeting other participants to help develop recommendations for governments, global organisations and private sector supporters.

“One of the aims is to promote greater awareness within our industry and to encourage greater cooperation between official bodies, organisations and the transport sector to combat this illegal trade. The transport industry, specifically airlines, shipping lines and port operators can contribute in breaking the chain between suppliers and consumers of illegal wildlife products.”

The meeting follows continuous work by Dubai Customs, in collaboration with DP World, to tackle the trade in line with UAE legislation. Between 2012 and 2014, Dubai Customs seized, destroyed and repatriated over 775 pieces of ivory, worth over $10 million dollars, and 618 tonnes of sandalwood with overall seizures increasing by 36% during this period.

The visitors, were led by the Rt Hon William Hague and included representatives from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS); Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), plus a host of freight sector representatives including the World Customs Organisation (WCO); International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). The party were given lunch and a tour of the port plus a briefing by DP World management and Dubai Customs on how Dubai authorities work together to eradicate illegal wildlife trade through the emirate, in line with UAE legislation on endangered species introduced in 1974.

Photo: A pile of seized Kenyan ivory destined for destruction.