Travel Trade Industry Joins Coalition to Combat Wildlife Trafficking
U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance announces new partnerships with major industry associations, launches global travel and tourism toolkit for travel companies
WASHINGTON – Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), American Society for Travel Agents (ASTA), and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), announced today they will be working to help travelers recognize and avoid purchasing the illegal wildlife products that are decimating global populations of elephants, rhinos, tortoises and other endangered species. These actions support the mission of the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance (the Alliance), a public-private partnership in which corporate and non-profit member organizations, including WildAid and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), work together with governmental entities 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 travelers annually. Read more here.
China Announces Closure of Ivory Market by End of 2017
In response to the announcement that China will be closing its domestic ivory market by December 2017, David J. Hayes, Chair of the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance (USWTA) and former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, released the following statement:
“China’s historic decision to close its domestic market to ivory, coming in the same year that the United States adopted a near-total ban on ivory sales, is a critical step in the fight to save elephants from the brink of extinction. As Paul G. Allen’s Great Elephant Census documents, the ivory trade has devastated elephant populations across the globe. So long as key markets are open to the criminal syndicates that are orchestrating the killings of elephants for their ivory, elephant populations will continue to plummet.
“This announcement also sends an important message to consumers: “Be Informed #Buy Informed” (www.uswta.org). Do not purchase ivory or other wildlife products from endangered animals. The U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance, its corporate, media and non-profit partners, and Paul Allen’s Vulcan, Inc. are working diligently to spread this message to U.S. citizens who find illegal wildlife products available on-line, in stores, in auction houses, or when traveling abroad.
“We commend China for taking this important action, which holds out the hope that future generations will have the opportunity to marvel at these magnificent creatures. We look to other nations to build on this momentum and end the demand for ivory and other such products once and for all.”
Formed in support of President Obama’s National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking and with the support of philanthropic leaders including Paul Allen’s Vulcan, Inc., the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance works with an expanding network of partners across the corporate, nonprofit, and governmental sectors to reduce demand for illegal wildlife products and close the markets in which trafficking occurs. The Alliance’s success involving international businesses in the fight to end wildlife crime was recently featured in the National Geographic’s “7 Ways Wildlife Won in 2016” feature. For more information, see a recent discussion of their work with the Department of Interior here or visit www.uswta.org.