One of Africa’s largest airlines, Kenya Airways, have joined forces with UN Environment on World Wildlife Day to help put an end to the illicit international trade in wildlife driving myriad species to the brink of extinction.
Today, Kenya Airways, announced it is partnering with UN Environment to effectively cut off one of the main transport routes used by criminals to smuggle wildlife, dead or alive, from Africa to the Middle East and East Asia. The partnership comes in the wake of a poaching crisis across Africa that is wreaking havoc on creatures great and small, from elephants and rhinos to pangolins and African Gray Parrots.
Kenya Airways, which flies to 51 international destinations, has a zero-tolerance policy for illegal wildlife trade and works closely with governments and aid agencies, especially at its hub in Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, to help ensure illegal wildlife products are not being transported on its aircrafts. The company now wants to scale up its efforts by working with UN Environment to provide regular messaging about wildlife crime prevention across its customer touch points, including in-flight entertainment and announcements, and staff trainings.
Putting an end to the illegal trade in wildlife requires the commitment of everyone from governments to the private sector and dedication of those preventing poaching on the ground. But it critically requires educating and motivating ordinary citizens, who as consumers are responsible for driving the demand for wildlife and wildlife parts, to make choices that do not harm endangered species. From pangolin scales to hornbill casques to rhino horn, elephant ivory and live animals like apes and parrots, there are endless examples of purchasing decisions that are driving species toward extinction.