The Travel & Tourism Declaration on the illegal trade in wildlife has made representatives of the global travel industry commit to the fight against the illegal activity, with Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) among the first to sign the declaration at the Global Summit of The World Travel and Tourism Council in Argentina.
Wildlife tourism is a significant generator of income for communities in developing countries, and whilst the illegal wildlife trade puts at risk the planet’s biodiversity, it also threatens the livelihoods of these communities.
At its core, the ‘Buenos Aires Declaration’ is about promoting the benefit of wildlife tourism and ensuring it positively impacts local communities.
Additionally, it will encourage to create sustainable livelihoods for those who live and work in these destinations and encourage investment in infrastructure, communities and people.
As signatories, A&K agrees to the specific tenets of the commitment which include selling only wildlife products that are legal and sustainably sourced and which meet CITES requirements; promoting only responsible wildlife-based tourism; training staff to detect, identify and report suspected illegal trade in wildlife, and educating travellers.
“As leaders in the travel industry, it is our duty to educate travellers about the threat facing some of the world’s most treasured species – the African elephant, Bengal tiger and the rhino to name a few – and to do everything we can in the fight to end the evil practices that threaten these species,” A&K Australia managing director, Sujata Raman said.
“Through our philanthropic arm, Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy, we are currently involved in more than 30 projects around the world dedicated to positively impacting lives and livelihoods in the communities where our guests travel.”
“We’re working with partner communities on conservation, education, healthcare, and enterprise development initiatives – all designed to make these communities less vulnerable to exploitation and the illegal trade in wildlife.”