Kenya Airways confirmed Friday it has signed a declaration aimed at preventing wildlife trafficking to help wipe out poaching which is rampant in Africa.
Kenya Airways CEO Mbuvi Ngunze said the airline was one of the signatories to the Declaration of the United for Wildlife International Taskforce on the Transportation of Illegal Wildlife Products. The declaration was signed in Britain this week.
Ngunze said Kenya Airways has a zero tolerance policy regarding illegal wildlife trade and by being signatories of this Declaration they are reinforcing their stand.
“We work closely with other government agencies, especially at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to ensure illegal products are not being transported on our aircrafts,” Ngunze said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
Ngunze who signed the declaration on behalf of the airline joined 40 other leaders in the transport and conservation sector to sign the initiative.
The partnership came in the wake of a surge in wildlife poaching across Africa with elephants and rhinos among the worst hit and Kenya preparing to burn the largest ivory stockpile of 120 tonnes in April.
The Declaration by the global transport players is ambitious with eleven commitments which require signatories to commit to supporting global efforts to prevent illegal wildlife smuggling, through putting in place measures where the transport industry specifically can help shut down routes exploited by traffickers.
Other signatories from Africa to the Declaration include South African Airlines and the African Airlines Association (AFRAA), of which Ngunze is the current chair.
The statement came after a report launched early this month that said mass slaughter of rhinos in Africa has increased for the sixth year in a row with at least 1,338 rhinos killed by poachers across the continent in 2015.
This, the report said, was the highest level since the current crisis began to emerge in 2008. Since then poachers have killed at least 5,940 African rhinos.