Sri Lanka reinforces worldwide fight against illegal wildlife trafficking and species smuggling


Sri Lanka has reinforced its determination to stop wildlife trafficking and species smuggling, which is estimated to be worth at least $19 billion annually.

The government-owned SriLankan Airlines, already lauded for its global conservation efforts, launched a new corporate policy in May to help combat the illegal trade.

The Saudi Gazette reports Sri Lankan CEO Captain Suren Ratwatte as saying: “We believe that the launch of this policy will send a strong message to species smugglers that we will not tolerate any activities that are unethical or endanger the survival of any species.”


The policy reaffirms SriLankan’s resolve to follow established international conservation practices, including:

  • A total ban on transporting of wild game hunting trophies and any part of a species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
  • A ban on transporting non-human primates destined for laboratories or laboratory suppliers.
  • And the strict adherence to national regulations and applicable best practices in relation to proper documentation and approvals of regulatory authorities.

Sri Lanka’s national carrier is also part of IATA’s ʻUnited for Wildlifeʼ worldwide drive to crack down on the illegal global trade in wildlife launched by the Royal Foundation of The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge & Prince Harry.

The airline became the first airline in Asia to introduce the concept of ‘Planet Friendly Flights’ as far back as 2009.

It was only the sixth to be awarded the Quality Assurance Standard (QAS) Carbon Neutral Quality Mark for its Voluntary Carbon Offset Program, ‘Flygreen’.

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