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Combatting Illegal Trade in Wildlife

Transnational criminal gangs are exploiting the increasingly interconnected air transport system to traffic  illegal flora and fauna. Aviation is committed to playing its part in stopping this illegal trade in wildlife, worth at least $19 billion annually. 

Although the duty for capturing and prosecuting these criminals rests with national enforcement authorities, airline staff can provide an important source of additional intelligence. 

IATA is working with the aviation industry to support the work of enforcement agencies in combating the illegal trade in wildlife.​​​​


Want to learn more about the illegal wildlife trade? IATA has launched a 20-minute e-learning module to raise awareness with all aviation staff. The module was originally developed by Etihad Airways in collaboration with TRAFFIC and has been adapted to suit a global audience.


International Initiatives Resources Videos

United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce

From airlines to shipping lines – the United for Wildlife (UfW) Transport Taskforce aims to jointly examine the role of the transport industry in the illegal wildlife trade and aims to identify ways the sector can break the chain between suppliers and consumers.

The 2016 IATA Annual General Meeting unanimously endorsed a resolution denouncing the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products and pledging to partner with government authorities and conservation organizations in the fight against the trafficking of protected species. 

IATA is among the signatories to the UfW Transport Taskforce Buckingham Palace Declaration which aims to reduce the illegal trade of wildlife. 61 airlines have also signed up as well as a number of other aviation stakeholders, underlining the aviation industry’s commitment to helping end this evil trade.


  • IATA signed a Memorandum of Understanding  with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) .
  • IATA is also a core member of the Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES) Partnership. More about the IATA-ROUTES partnershipThe USAID ROUTES Partnership brings together transport and logistics companies, government agencies, development groups, law enforcement, conservation organizations, academia and donors to disrupt wildlife trafficking activities, and forms a key element of the concerted international response to addressing wildlife poaching and associated criminal activities worldwide.
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Join the IATA Wildlife Task Force

The ENCOM, IATA’s environmental governance body, has formed the IATA Wildlife Task Force (IWTF) to identify and review emerging wildlife conservation issues within the industry and develop appropriate response. The IWTF holds meetings/webinars approximately twice a year, and is open to all IATA member airlines. Please contact us for more information at wildlife@iata.org

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