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05th December, 2017.

Turkish Airlines advocates for the protection of wildlife

The illegal wildlife trade threatens to extinguish many of the most iconic and special creatures in the world, forcing them to the brink of extinction, threatening our global biodiversity.

This illegal activity has deeper socio-economic impact, fueling organized crime, undermining the prosterity of economies and feeding insecurity across the globe.

Typically it is quite common in Nigeria to see hawkers with the remains of various animals killed in the course of hunting. Rurual societies and some urban societies in the country have gone as far as to legalise the hunting and killing of wildlife to the extent that certain days are set aside every year in various communities for hunting.

Ironically, Nigeria is signatory to virtually all global agreements on biodiversity. We ratified the Convention on International Trade and Endangered Species (CITES) in 1974 and our first national legislation evolved 30 years ago has been reviewed with inputs from CITES secretariat and the new legislation has been rated first category by CITES.

The government has called for the adoption of a resolution on illegal trade and also advocated for the creation of a special window under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for the protection of endangered species. While noting that Nigeria pays high premium on matters that concern conservation of biodiversity and the protection of endangered fauna and flora.

The government alone cannot curb this phenomenum. International organisations more importantly airlines who are key players in the international wildlife trade should play a more important role in preserving the wildlife diversity in our economy.

Turkish Airlines which has been operating in Nigeria for over a decade understands the value of biodiversity, earlier this month signed the "United for Wildlife Buckingham Palace Declaration (UFW)" pledging for zero-tolerance regarding the illegal wildlife trade.

Mr. Bilal Eksi, Turkish Airlines Deputy Chairman and CEO during the signing ceremony expressed his passion for wildlife protection stating that, "With this declaration, we as Turkish Airlines are not only underlining one of the most important environmental issues of our times, trafficking of wildlife, but we are also setting an example of responsibility. Today with this signature we hope that we are contributing to the level of awareness on the issue and smoothing the path for legal enforcement procedures against the traffickers."

Turkish Airlines as a socially and environementally cautious airline has expressed that they are committed to tackling illegal wildlife trade by Increasing passenger, customer, client, and staff awareness about the nature, scale, and consequences of illegal wildlife trade.

Developing mechanisms to enable the transport sector to receive timely information about the transport of suspected illegal wildlife and their products, including methods of transportation, key routes, ports and other locations.

Developing a secure, harmonized system for passing information about suspected illegal wildlife trade from the transport sector to relevant customs and law enforcement authorities, where permitted by law. Support the development of mechanisms by the World Customs Organization and national customs authorities to aid the detection and prevention of trade in illegal wildlife and their products.

Wildlife is a very important component of the ecosystem and it is expedient to stop its illegal trade in order to conserve wildlife for posterity and ecological balance. It is important to note that different species in nature are connected through various food webs, and the disappearance of one species could affect several others down the line.

The need for innovative solutions and improved data to facilitate interventions to stop illegal wildlife trade has been noted by the United Nations and USAID-supported Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge. Organisations with the power and influence to effect change should take it upon themselves to champion this intiative helping to secure a safer future for not only the human species but also to wildlife including plants

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Travelscope Magazine is publication with primary focus of serving the travel, tourism, aviation and hospitality sector with the latest global trends in the industry.

Travelscope Magazine is a published by Bisoprints Communication as a rallying point for the advancement of the industry. It has grown to become a clear market leader focusing on constant innovation in the emerging travel, tourism and hospitality sector in Nigeria.


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