Climate awareness at 30,000 feet: IUCN and South African Airways team up
21 February 2012 | Article
Africa’s most awarded airline, South African Airways, and the world’s largest environmental union, IUCN, teamed up to launch a unique climate change awareness campaign at the start of the UN’s Climate Change Summit in Durban.
South African Airways (SAA) and IUCN are aiming to promote a better understanding of the role nature can play in adapting to the impacts of climate change.
Videos produced by IUCN featured as part of the in-flight entertainment package during SAA flights connecting more than 25 countries worldwide. SAA passengers were able to learn from the environmental videos and articles in the in-flight magazine about the latest developments and efforts to support communities in adapting to climate change, such as the role forest landscape restoration can play in mitigating climate change impacts.
“We are delighted to see SAA take a leading role within the airline industry in actively encouraging its travellers to be more informed on the role of nature as an important part of the climate change solution,” says Stewart Maginnis, Director of IUCN's Environment and Development Group. “This is particularly relevant at the onset of the Durban Climate Change Summit, where some of the best prospects for progress include ecosystem-based adaptation to harmful climate change impacts and the global implementation of a mechanism for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).”
“Sharing environmental awareness messages across the globe by partnering with IUCN highlights SAA’s commitment to making a positive contribution to a greener world. The use of SAA’s inflight entertainment system to adequately inform all our customers around issues pertaining to climate change is a key part of our responsibility as an airline,” says Barry Parsons, Executive in the CEO’s Office: Strategy, Planning & Project Management, South African Airways.
South African Airways are a member of Star Alliance, a global network of 27 airlines. Star Alliance support’s the travel needs of IUCN as part of the Biosphere Connections campaign and is now looking to emulate the IUCN-SAA collaboration by promoting the work of IUCN on other member airlines.
“Star Alliance has been transporting IUCN teams across its global network for a number of years under its Biosphere Connections programme to enable them to further their knowledge and skills. Therefore we strongly support this initiative between IUCN and our first African airline member, South African Airways, as further endorsement of our commitment toward all aspects of environmental sustainability,” says Christian Klick, Vice President, Corporate Office, for Star Alliance.