South African Airways (SAA) reports that it is adopting the Illegal Wildlife Trade module from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as part of its efforts to combat the illegal trade in wildlife.
The Illegal Wildlife Trade module is part of the IATA Environmental Assessment (IEnvA) Program, a comprehensive environmental management system that aims to ensure airlines are as environmentally sustainable as possible. SAA said that the assessment program is the equivalent of the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), but for the environment rather than for safety. SAA is audited and certified as IEnvA-compliant; the airline attained IEnvA Stage 2 certification in March 2015.
Throughout the month of December, SAA has been audited to ensure that the correct systems and procedures are in place in order to fight the illegal wildlife trade. After the audit, SAA will be certified.
SAA is also a signatory to the Buckingham Palace Declaration of the United for Wildlife Initiative, which works to tackle the illegal wildlife trade by bringing together conservation organizations, governments and global corporations. Led by The Duke of Cambridge and The Royal Foundation, United for Wildlife is working to protect endangered species like elephants, rhinos, tigers and pangolins.
SAA said that it will be increasing awareness, training and cooperation with law enforcement. Over the course of the next year, all employees will have the opportunity to get involved and be trained in methods to detect wildlife smugglers and their activities and to report these to the relevant authorities.
By: Adam Leposa