Jan 26, 2017
By Chris Robinson
In an effort to help travellers recognize and avoid purchasing the illegal wildlife products that are decimating global populations of elephants, rhinos and many other endangered species, a number of travel groups have teamed up to support the mission of the Wildlife Trafficking Alliance. These groups include Cruise Lines International Association, the Adventure Travel Trade Association and the American Society for Travel Agents.
The Alliance is a public-private partnership in which travel businesses and non-profit member organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund, work together with government to raise awareness about the dangers of wildlife trafficking and to stop consumer demand for endangered species products. Together, the associations serve more than 25 million travellers annually.
Members of the Alliance have made commitments to distribute wildlife trafficking educational material and lend the voice of their vast networks to speak on this critical issue.
The illegal wildlife trade is threatening the survival of many species in the wild. In a recent three year period, approximately one-fifth of the entire African elephant population – 100,000 elephants – were killed for their ivory. African lion populations have plummeted by almost 50 percent in the past three decades. As animals disappear from the wild, the opportunity to view them decreases – creating a domino effect that ripples across the tourism industry. Ensuring animals remain in the wild is not only good for the planet, but it’s also good for business. And so this move by the travel industry is very welcome and perhaps overdue.
In related news earlier this month came the announcement that China will be closing its domestic ivory market by the end of this year.
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