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Buenos Aires Declaration bolsters travel and tourism's fight against wildlife crime

The TreadRight Foundation celebrated The Travel Corporation's (TTC) recent signing of the Buenos Aires Declaration on Travel and Tourism and Illegal Wildlife Trade - a framework to aid the travel and tourism industry in the fight against wildlife crime - at the World Travel and Tourism Council's (WTTC) Global Summit to mark Endangered Species Day (18 May).

Brett Tollman and WTTC members on stage for the Buenos Aires Travel & Tourism Declaration on Illegal Trade in Wildlife. (Image Supplied)
Brett Tollman and WTTC members on stage for the Buenos Aires Travel & Tourism Declaration on Illegal Trade in Wildlife. (Image Supplied)

Stopping wildlife crime has been at the core of TreadRight’s wildlife conservation efforts through the foundation’s 10-year history. Over the past decade, protecting endangered species has been central to many of the not-for-profit’s project partnerships with organisations such as Wilderness Foundation Africa, Wildlife SOS – India, World Animal Protection, Sea Turtle Conservancy, Shark Savers, WildAid, Endangered Wildlife Trust, and the Wilderness Wildlife Trust.

For World Wildlife Day 2018 this past March, TTC and TreadRight announced the expansion of the TreadRight Wildlife Initiative to include the fight to help save big cats with the introduction of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Big Cat Fund project partnership, followed by the announcement of further support for the continued development of The Cape Leopard Trust’s conservation efforts at Bushmans Kloof, South Africa.

Central to the Buenos Aires Declaration is a commitment to developing and providing sustainable livelihoods for those communities most affected by the illegal wildlife trade through the promotion of the benefits of wildlife tourism and encouraging investment in infrastructure, communities and people.

Image Supplied
Image Supplied

The declaration consists of four pillars:

1. Expression and demonstration of agreement to tackle the illegal wildlife trade

2. Promotion of responsible wildlife-based tourism

3. Awareness raising among customers, staff and trade networks

4. Engaging with local communities and investing locally

As a global community of travel organisations and travellers, the potential reach and influence of the sector are exceptional. Together, there is an incredible capacity to identify and develop a positive way forward. Significant strides have already been made in prioritising this issue with more than 40 WTTC members having signed the declaration.

As members return from the WTTC Global Summit and encourage organisations within their respective spheres to join the fight against the illegal wildlife trade by signing the Buenos Aires Declaration, the momentum continues to build.

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