London – 16 March 2016 – The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (“SSI”) has today signed a Declaration to tackle global wildlife trafficking routes. The Declaration was unveiled by The Duke of Cambridge, President of United for Wildlife, and is the culmination of 12 months of work to develop a plan, led by the transport sector, to crack down on illegal wildlife trafficking routes.

The signing of the Declaration is in line with one of the key pillars of the SSI’s Vision for a more sustainable shipping industry, which states that shipping must earn a reputation for being a trusted and responsible partner in the communities that it touches around the world.

The United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce Buckingham Palace Declaration is a landmark agreement, committing to take real steps to shut down the routes exploited by traffickers of the illegal wildlife trade, moving their products from killing field to market place.

The declaration outlines 11 commitments, which have been collaboratively developed over the last 12 months by members of the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce. The commitments aim to help support the private sector in fighting the illegal wildlife trade, and include:

  • Increasing passenger, customer, client, and staff awareness about the nature, scale, and consequences of illegal wildlife trade
  • Promoting the Declaration and its Commitments across the entire transport sector and encourage all in the sector to sign up to the Declaration
  • Improving the training of staff within the transport sector to enable them to detect, identify and report suspected illegal wildlife trade, and acknowledge staff who champion this cause
  • Notifying relevant law enforcement authorities of cargoes suspected of containing illegal wildlife and their products and, where able, refuse to accept or ship such cargoes

Over 40 organisations from the transport industries have signed the Declaration, including a number of leading shipping organisations such as Maersk Group, China COSCO Shipping, Dubai Ports World and the UK Chamber of Shipping. Although a number of trade routes are used for the smuggling of wildlife products, shipping is a significant transporter.

Alastair Fischbacher, CEO, the Sustainable Shipping Initiative commented:

“The Declaration is a welcome and necessary step in the fight against illegal wildlife trafficking. The SSI wholeheartedly supports its aims, and it is an example of how shipping can take ownership and responsibility for improving wider areas of sustainability, working together and helping other transportation and conservation industries, along with local communities, to make a substantial difference on important global issues, such as the fight against illegal wildlife trafficking.”