Wildlife Friendly Skies is a training course for employees of commercial airlines on how to stop wildlife trafficking. A significant amount of the wildlife traded around the world travels on commercial flights. This includes both legal and illegal trade. Transport of illegal wildlife can be extremely cruel and mortality rates are high when animals are treated as luggage. Proper training for employees of commercial airlines will help stop wildlife trafficking.
Wildlife Trafficking Free Zone
Freeland provides experienced instructors to engage pilots, flight attendants, cargo handlers and check-in officers for one intensive day to:
- Increase their awareness of how commercial airlines are used by wildlife traffickers
- Develop their skills in identifying possible wildlife crime and criminals
- Instruct on what actions to take, including where to report suspicious wildlife crime activity
- Provide the information required for first response care that should be given to wild animals which have been rescued
Latest Wildlife Friendly Skies News
Airline and airport staff in one of the world’s most active wildlife trafficking hotspots are now better equipped to detect, report and combat wildlife crime. At last week’s Wildlife Friendly Skies workshop at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, more than 240 participants received training in identifying common smuggling methods and routes, signs of trafficking, effective first-response actions and examined real-life case studies.
Imagine the multitude of containers, bags, and boxes stuffed with illegal wildlife parts that cross international borders undetected every day. Interpol estimates that seizures represent just 10% of the total underground trade, meaning that the tusks and horns seized in these three busts in Vietnam are just a small, visible fragment of the 1,000 elephants and 300 rhinos that were being slaughtered, smuggled and sold at the exact same time.
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), 3.1 billion passengers used airlines to travel in 2013 and more than 50 million tons of cargo was shipped through the air. With easier access to airlines, the relatively low cost and the quick travel times, wildlife traffickers are increasingly using airlines to smuggle illegal and often endangered wildlife.
China has long been considered one of the leading destinations for products such as ivory and rhino horns, originating in places such as Africa and transported to the area using airlines. The issue has also been further exacerbated with the increase in air travel, which has doubled in recent years.
The Wildlife Friendly Skies workshop, organized in partnership with the Biodiversity Conservation Agency of Vietnam’s Environment Administration under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and the Northern Airport Authority of Vietnam, focused on commercial flight routes connecting Vietnam to other wildlife source, transit and consumer countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America.
The skies are getting safer for endangered species after one of the world’s busiest airports and two major airlines joined together to launch a new global program to stop wildlife trafficking through airports.