Avianca and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) join forces to confront wildlife trafficking by signing an agreement that will not only strengthen the airline's actions in terms of prevention but will also draw upon the technical knowledge and experience of WCS in combating wildlife trafficking.
In this regard, Avianca's operational, cargo, and airport personnel will receive comprehensive training, which will focus on the detection of wild specimens (animals or plants, alive or dead and/or any part or derivative) reporting to the authorities in case of illegal findings; as well as the execution of international agreements and commitments to prevent illegal trafficking.
“With this alliance with WCS, we seek to strengthen our action systems and prevent wildlife trafficking through training and awareness sessions for our operational personnel. We understand the enormous impact of this crime in the region and, therefore, we want to contribute to the protection of our ecosystems TODAY to have a future TOMORROW”, said Felipe Andrés Gómez Vivas, director of institutional relations and sustainability for Avianca.
Latin America has great natural wealth, with three of the five most biodiverse countries on the planet; however, they face threats to species survival, such as the illegal wildlife trade. According to the report produced by WCS on the news of wildlife seizures made between July and December 2022, 1,617 live animals were confiscated in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and the border areas of Brazil. These confiscations included operations at airports such as Bogota and Leticia in Colombia, where 27 animals were seized, mainly reptiles.
“For WCS, the signing of this agreement with Avianca is of great importance since it strengthens the actions aimed at detecting and preventing the trafficking of wild specimens in the modality associated with the air transport of passengers and cargo, which transcends borders. The involvement of the private sector in this task is fundamental and WCS will contribute all its technical expertise in this process”, declared Padu Franco, director of the Andes, Amazon and Orinoco region of WCS.
AVIANCA includes Avianca - Star Alliance member-, LifeMiles and Avianca Cargo. In passenger transport and with more than 103 years of continuous operation since 1919, Avianca is the leading airline in Colombia, Ecuador, and Central America. It has one of the largest air operations in Latin America with 130 routes, 3,800 weekly flights and a fleet of more than 130 Airbus 320 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, connecting to around 70 destinations in America and Europe. More than 11.9 million members and 500 partner brands are part of its loyalty program, LifeMiles, one of the largest in the region. In cargo transportation, Avianca Cargo is a leader in the region and is the main operator in different markets in America. It serves more than 70 destinations with a fleet of Airbus A330 cargo planes, added to the operation of bellies on passenger planes. Avianca today has a team of more than 12,000 people committed to providing a safe, convenient, affordable, and friendly service to its customers. More information at www.avianca.com.
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