Emirates has reaffirmed its environmental commitment on World Environment Day, showcasing its support of various wildlife charities.
The airlines says that it is “committed to tackling the illegal trade in the sale of wild animals either as pets, or for their hides, tusks or other body parts for use in food, medicine, exotic leathers, jewellery and ornaments – all worth around US$ 20 billion every year”.
As a result, Emirates is part of United for Wildlife, ROUTES (Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species), and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
The airline has “zero tolerance on carrying banned species, hunting trophies or any products associated with illegal wildlife activities”.
The airline’s ground-handling team is trained in IATA’s Live Animal Regulations and its internal policies, and more than 2,500 airport services employees were trained last year to recognise and report suspicious cargo. Employees have access to a dedicated reporting channel to stop illegal trade. Customer awareness was heightened through interviews, wildlife programmes and films on ice, its inflight entertainment system, and the inflight magazine.
Emirates also owns Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley, a conservation-based resort in New South Wales. The resort worked closely with the local community to evacuate on-site animals as bushfires swept across the country last year. Involving guests who were keen to volunteer, the resort created a one million-plus seed bank, representing 25 local native species that will play a vital role in repopulating damaged areas. Native wildlife like kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, reptiles and birdlife have already returned to the area.
In Dubai, Emirates’ 20-year partnership with the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR) has programmes to track, maintain and reintroduce native wildlife species, such as the Arabian oryx, Arabian gazelle, sand gazelle. In January, 2020, the reserve released 250 MacQueen’s bustards into its natural habitat.
The DDCR continues to be a regional leader in ecological research, actively collaborating with local and international universities. The reserve was accepted as a candidate for the IUCN Green List for Protected and Conserved Areas, a global standard for the world’s most effectively managed of protected areas, in 2018.