Biodiversity matters

The conservation of habitats and species diversity is very important to Cathay Pacific. We recognise that we have an impact on the destinations in which we fly to and understand the importance of respecting the biodiversity existing in each ecosystem. We also recognise the importance of raising public awareness through educational activities and how airlines play a role. With this in mind, we continue to develop and incorporate several elements of biodiversity into our sustainable development strategy.

What our stakeholder thinks

In today’s world, companies are expected to understand how their choices impact biodiversity around the globe. It is vital to uncover ways in which ecosystems can be protected. Thus, companies need to discussions and incorporate biodiversity as part of their business operations. This means that in addition to supporting habitat protection and animal welfare initiatives undertaken by third parties, we are also expected to take action to reduce the impact from our daily operations. Our positive efforts regarding sharks and shark-related products in particular have been viewed as a move in the right direction by stakeholders.

Performance update

Cathay Pacific supports the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce Buckingham Palace Declaration to end wildlife trafficking. We are committed to not knowingly facilitate or tolerate the carriage of wildlife products, where trade in those products is contrary to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife Fauna and Flora (CITES), and as such is illegal under international and national laws.

All ivory and ivory products are now embargoed on our flights.

A full embargo on shark fins was implemented.


United for Wildlife Declaration

Recognising the devastating impact from illegal and inhumane wildlife trade, Cathay Pacific signed the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce Buckingham Palace Declaration in June 2016.

This industry-led declaration, which initially targeted the illegal trade of African elephants, rhinos, some big cats, and pangolins that originated from and transited through East Africa, was developed by the transport sector, intergovernmental organisations and conservation groups in order to ultimately put an end to illegal wildlife trade. United for Wildlife (UFW) is a joint collaboration between seven of the largest international conservation organisations, namely Conservation International, Fauna & Flora International, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), WWF and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). UFW aims to implement a global action plan whereby organisations and government partners can work in unison to finally end all wildlife related crimes.

As a signatory to the declaration, Cathay Pacific is committed to not facilitating or tolerating the carriage of wildlife products, where the trade is contrary to CITES and as such, is illegal under international and national laws.

The declaration contains commitments which focus on information sharing, staff training, technological improvements and resource sharing across companies and organisations worldwide. Cathay Pacific will be working closely with IATA and the International Taskforce on the Transportation of Illegal Wildlife Product to identify the role that the industry plays in the illegal wildlife trade, and to find ways that help break the chain between its suppliers and consumers.

As a reputable commercial airline, we cannot tolerate transporting illegal wildlife product in our aircrafts. As such, we have the responsibility to increase the awareness of our staff, customers and associates on the magnitude and implications of illegal wildlife trade.

Paul Loo

Chief Customer and Commercial Officer

Shark’s fin embargo

In keeping with our Sustainable Development Policy, in the later stages of 2012 we announced a restrictive carriage policy that led us to permit carrying only sustainably-sourced sharks and shark-related products. The decision was based upon independent science and research-based data, as well as deep dialogue within the expert community. We continued to engage with the global scientific community to further review and develop guidelines in implementing our restrictive cargo policy. In particular, we engaged with two highly-respected international shark conservation agencies: the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Shark Specialist Group (IUCN SSG) and TRAFFIC International – an NGO network that monitors wildlife trade.

In mid-2015, an acceptance procedure for sharks and shark-related products was issued to all Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon ports. Requests for the shipment of sharks or shark products were required for assessment by an external panel in accordance with the sustainability of the species before they could be considered for carriage. The instituted procedure screened out all shipment requests for any and all shark-related products. We understand the community’s desire to promote responsible and sustainable marine sourcing practices, and this remains very important to Cathay Pacific’s overall sustainable development goals. As such, effective from June 2016, shark’s fin products were not accepted for carriage. We will continue to review this practice going forward, as we do all our sustainable development policies.

Ivory and ivory products embargo

In November 2016, we implemented an embargo on the transportation of all ivory and ivory-related products. The embargo is inclusive of raw ivory, worked ivory, carved ivory, ivory sculptures and decorative ivory.