Published 11 September 2018


Airports Council International and the ROUTES Partnership Train Airport Leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean on Combating Wildlife Trafficking

Miami, Florida, USA, 11th September 2018—In order to help combat the transport of illegal wildlife products, the USAID Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES) Partnership and Airports Council International (ACI) World and ACI Latin America and Caribbean (ACI-LAC) delivered a training and capacity building workshop last week for airport leaders in Latin America and the Caribbean as part of ACI’s Developing Nations Airports (DNA) Assistance Programme on airport environment management.  

The half-day workshop covered the local and global implications of wildlife trafficking crimes, common wildlife trafficking trade routes, the modes and methods used by traffickers to smuggle wildlife and wildlife products in air transport, and opportunities for airports to take action. A comprehensive assessment and report of wildlife trafficking through the air transport sector was recently released by ROUTES. Findings from the report, In Plane Sight, focusing on Latin America and the Caribbean were also highlighted during the presentation.

Following the workshop, participants were provided informational resources for further learning and sharing with their colleagues. Participants also shared cases of airports which succeeded in stopping wildlife trafficking and discussed training needs and mechanisms for long-lasting interventions to stop wildlife trafficking crimes.

“The ACI-DNA Programme’s objective is to support member airports in developing countries. Many of these airports are gateways for connecting the rest of the world with fragile and endangered ecosystems and wildlife species. It’s therefore vital that airports and airport staff know how they can help protect their natural environments from wildlife trafficking crimes,” said Juliana Scavuzzi, Senior Manager of Environment at ACI World.

As a global problem, wildlife trafficking is also present in Latin America and the Caribbean region with local wildlife and wildlife products often destined for food and pet markets in North America, Europe, and Asia. Authorities have intercepted shipments of live birds, seahorses, reptiles, and monkeys, among other commonly traded wildlife products.

“The protection of wildlife and natural resources is an essential part of sustainable development, and airports can play an important role in detecting and reporting wildlife trafficking crimes. Wildlife traffickers rely on the same transport modes and smuggling methods used by criminals to move other illicit goods, including drugs and counterfeit products.  Efforts to combat wildlife trafficking can help strengthen supply chain security from other criminal activities

TRAFFIC’s Claire Beastall, Training and Capacity Building Coordinator for ROUTES

Many in the transportation sector are recognizing the need to take action against wildlife trafficking. Recently, ROUTES developed new role-specific training modules designed to inform air transport employees of the business risks associated with the illegal wildlife trade and ways to prevent them. In addition, ROUTES has conducted trainings across Africa, the Middle East and Asia to train airport and airline employees in key wildlife trafficking hubs.

About the ROUTES Partnership

The USAID Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES) Partnership brings together transport and logistics companies, government agencies, development groups, law enforcement, conservation organisations and donors to disrupt wildlife trafficking activities, and forms a key element of the concerted international response to addressing wildlife poaching and associated criminal activities worldwide. Further information and resources can be found at


The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is responsible for the majority of overseas development assistance from the United States Government and works to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing security and prosperity for America and the world

About ACI

Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association of the world’s airports, was founded in 1991 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and other partners in world aviation, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation. In representing the best interests of airports during key phases of policy development, ACI makes a significant contribution toward ensuring the global air transport system is safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sustainable. As of January 2018, provisional figures show that ACI serves 641 members operating 1,953 airports in 176 countries. For more information, visit or follow @ACIWorld. For more information, visit or follow @ACIWorld