Aviation companies across the world have come together to denounce illegal wildlife trade and build safeguards to combat the practice.

These firms have teamed up under the Step Up to Stop Wildlife Trafficking campaign, promoting the ‘It Doesn’t Fly With Us’ message.

The campaign is being advocated by the Routes Partnership and United For Wildlife, a charity established by The Royal Foundation of the Duke of Cambridge.

Some of the aviation companies involved in the initiative are El Dorado International Airport, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Galapagos Ecological Airport, Inframerica, Kenya Airports Authority, Kenya Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Schiphol Airport and Qatar Airways.

Since 2015, Routes Partnership has been working with airports and airlines globally to provide training, data, and resources for implementing law enforcement in fighting illegal wildlife trade.

The companies are setting up protections against illegal wildlife trade such as training their staff to detect smuggling attempts and evaluating which flight paths are most frequently used by wildlife traffickers.

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Signing the United for Wildlife Buckingham Palace Declaration is said to be a key step for the aviation sector to address this issue.

Brasilia International Airport (BSB) and El Dorado International Airport (BOG) are the latest to sign this declaration in July and August, respectively.

Under this agreement, the members of the transport sector are committed to taking necessary actions to combat the illegal wildlife trade.

The involved aviation companies will also receive support from the Airports Council International (ACI) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Furthermore, the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce is working in partnership with regional stakeholders, mainly in those nations where such activities are rampant.

ACI World sustainability, environmental protection and legal affairs senior director Juliana Scavuzzi said: “We celebrate the airports’ wildlife trafficking prevention efforts. This crime can affect the sustainability of the aviation sector and the communities it serves.

“Multisector collaboration such as this can support the UN Sustainable Development Goals while protecting biodiversity, preserving economic livelihoods, maintaining the rule of law and helping to avert the emergence and propagation of zoonotic diseases.”