Safmarine fights illegal wildlife trafficking

Safmarine joins group of 40 organisations taking steps to combat illegal wildlife trafficking by targeting key routes and ports.

Safmarine joins other global transport leaders in a landmark agreement to fight illegal wildlife trade

After a year of negotiations and meetings in London, Geneva and Dubai, the Declaration of the United for Wildlife International Taskforce on the Transportation of Illegal Wildlife Products outlines 11 commitments to “help bring an end to the illegal trade in wildlife.”

“The transport industry has a critical role to play in stopping illegal ivory and rhino horn being trafficked at a global level and stamping out this criminality. This Declaration offers a real prospect of making the transportation of illegal wildlife products practically and economically unviable, by encouraging transport companies to take a stand and by targeting key routes and ports to disrupt this illicit trade,” reads the introduction to the Declaration signed by Prince William and The Lord Hague of Richmond.

With the Buckingham Palace Declaration, the signatories from 40 airlines, shipping firms, port operators, customs agencies, intergovernmental organisations and conservation charities agree to adopt a zero-tolerance policy against illegal wildlife trade, develop mechanisms to enable the transport sector to receive timely information and identify and promote systems to report suspicions in relation to the transportation of illegal wildlife and their products.

They will also support the development of methods by the World Customs Organisation and national customs authorities in uncovering and thwarting trade in illegal wildlife and products. 

Zero tolerance towards illegal transport of wildlife

Signe Bruun Jensen, Global Head of Sustainability for Safmarine, says the company strictly enforces the ban on transport of illegal wildlife.

“Safmarine has a zero tolerance towards illegal transport of wildlife. By signing the Buckingham Declaration, we are committing to take real steps to shut down the routes exploited by traffickers of the illegal wildlife trade moving their products from killing field to marketplace,” she adds.

Safmarine will work with the World Customs Organisation and other taskforce members to develop and implement mechanisms that enable the transport sector to receive improved information about the transport of suspected illegal wildlife and related products, including methods of transportation, key routes, ports and other locations.

“This initiative which will further strengthen our ability to get valuable intelligence on for example routes and ports with higher risk of illegal activity as well as to screen data and cargo in order to identify potential shipments of suspected illegal wildlife. In turn, we will also work to increase awareness of the issue amongst employees and customers in targeted markets. These efforts are initiated in the coming weeks in South and East Africa, UAE, South East Asia and Greater China, which have been identified as illegal trade hotspots,” she explains.

‘A game changer in the race against extinction’

The Duke of Cambridge describes the signing of a new declaration at Buckingham Palace as a “game changer in the race against extinction.”

"This crisis can be stopped. We know where the animals are that we need to protect. We know where the markets for wildlife products are and where awareness, education, and law enforcement need to be improved. With the Buckingham Palace Declaration being signed today, global transport leaders are saying we know many of the ways wildlife products are being moved from killing field to market place.”

The United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce also gets a strong support from intergovernmental agencies such as the World Customs Organisation, the United Nations Development Programme and the world's regulatory instrument on trade in endangered species, the Convention on Illegal Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna.

Learn more about the Buckingham Palace Declaration here.


  • Illegal wildlife trade covers a wide range of animals and plants. Animals are killed for their meat, skin and body parts and used for a variety of purposes, including medicine and decoration
  • Valued at between GBP 5 billion and GBP 20 billion, illegal wildlife trade is the fourth most lucrative global crime after drugs, humans and arms
  • It is one of the biggest threats to the survival of some of the world's most threatened species, including rhinos, elephants and tigers
  • 95% of the world's rhinos have been lost in the last 40 years - powdered rhino horn is used in traditional Asian medicine as a supposed cure for a range of illnesses from hangovers to fevers and even cancer
  • 22,000 African elephants were killed by poachers for their ivory in 2012. The ivory is carved into ornaments and jewellery - China is the biggest market for such products
  • 3,200 tigers may be left in the world
    Source: WWF and United for Wildlife
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