AECO Signs Declaration to Combat Illegal Wildlife Trade

Photo: Lisa Maria Haglund Photo: Lisa Maria Haglund

By MarEx 2019-01-06 20:00:11

The Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) has signed the Travel                                  and Tourism Declaration on Illegal Trade in Wildlife.

On December 7, the Association signed the Buenos Aires Declaration, which states                                    that signatories cannot knowingly facilitate the carriage or sale of illegally traded wildlife                              products. The Declaration on Illegal Trade in Wildlife covers wildlife products, where                                   the trade in those products is contrary to the Convention on International Trade in                                       Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and as such is illegal under                                   international laws.

AECO has committed to a zero-tolerance policy regarding illegal trade in wildlife                                         products and encourages visitors to the Arctic to support local communities by                                            buying legal and sustainable products. The organization has additional guidelines                                      in place to protect Arctic nature. Guests traveling with AECO operators are not                                            permitted to collect stones, bones, antlers, driftwood, flowers, plants and other                                           items from nature. However, purchasing local souvenirs and products is encouraged.

“Our members are subject to a strict non-disturbance principle when it comes to                                          wildlife, and AECO operators actively support wildlife protection through education,                                     wildlife sighting programs and contributions to science and conservation societies.                                     Signing this declaration reaffirms our dedication to showing the utmost consideration                                  of the natural environment in all aspects of operations,” says Executive Director                                         Frigg Jørgensen.

“For millennia, people in the Arctic have harvested animals and plants to produce food,                               clothing and artisanal goods. This includes fur products, carved bones and tusks and                                 local foods such as meat and fish. Buying locally made products generates income for                           the community and can contribute to upholding local craft traditions. When buying                                       animal or plant products, it is important to make sure that they have been harvested                                   and produced legally. In some cases, you will also need a permit to export the product,                              ” says Jørgensen.



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