Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
Madagascar's illicit wood trade to China
Nagoya, Japan (UPI) Oct 26, 2010
China's soaring demand for luxury wood furniture is fueling the destruction of Madagascar's forests, says a new report launched Tuesday at the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in Nagoya, Japan.
The report from Global Witness and the Environmental Investigation Agency shows that about 98 percent of the Madagascar wood -- mostly ebony, rosewood and pallisander -- is destined for the Chinese luxury furniture market.
"In China, Malagasy rosewood beds sell for a million dollars apiece, yet less than 1 percent of the profits remain with local people," EIA Executive Director Alexander von Bismarck said in a release. He noted that the group's investigations found that Chinese traders were often aware that the wood they purchased was endangered and not legally cut.
Madagascar's director general of forests, Julien Noel Rakotoarisoa told BBC News at the CBD meeting that the report broadly presented a "pretty accurate account" of the problem but said the situation was beginning to change.
Rakotoarisoa said his country issued the last export permit a year ago and no more permits would be issued.
He pointed to an unauthorized consignment of 300 tons of rosewood from Madagascar that was intercepted in the nearby Comoros Islands a few months ago as an example of action taken on illegal exports.
While Madagascar earlier this year reinstated a ban on the export of all precious woods, the report shows that further shipments of wood have left Madagascar's ports since then and logging continues.
An article in The New York Times also reported environmental groups saying the illicit trade has increased at least 25 fold in the last year, with the value of the timber totaling at least $167 million during that period.
The illegal trade has been facilitated by the weak law enforcement of the country's transitional government as well as complicity by some of the country's state authorities, the report states.
EIA and Global Witness called on China to take immediate action to halt imports of wood from Madagascar and adopt stricter policies for the country's traders and companies manufacturing products from the wood.
"China's response to these findings will be critical for Madagascar's biodiversity. China has a great opportunity to help put an end to illegal timber trade and protect biodiversity," said von Bismarck.
The lush rainforests of Madagascar, the world's fourth largest island, contains some 14,000 species of plants.
In July, the rainforests of the Atsinanana, the site of most of the illegal logging, were added to the List of World Heritage in danger.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Africa News - Resources, Health, Food
Libreville (AFP) Oct 25, 2010
The United Nations will in January open a central African regional bureau for peace and security in Gabon's capital Libreville, a UN political advisor announced Monday. A UN delegation is currently in Gabon "so that the office can start work in January 2011", said Angele Makombo-Eboum, who is also a mission chief for the world body. "The aim of this bureau is to help our sub-region of ce ... read more
Taiwan sends in heavy equipment in search of typhoon missing|
New Acoustic Early Warning System For Landslide Prediction
S.Korea sends promised flood relief aid to N.Korea
DHS Conducts Nationwide ID Authentication Test For Emergency Preparedness
Australia's Telstra iPad-style budget tablet
Secure World Foundation Holds Space Debris Workshop
Amazon says e-book sales of best-sellers double print
ARTEMIS Spacecraft Believed Stuck By Object
China fills Three Gorges Dam reservoir to capacity
European nations sink bluefin tuna quota reduction
Measuring sea-level rise in the Falklands
US awards Jordan 275-million-dollar grant to improve water
NASA Airborne Science Campaign Begins Antarctic Sequel
UBC Underwater Robot To Explore Ice-Covered Ocean And Antarctic Ice Shelf
Susitna Glacier, Alaska
US warns of record Arctic warming
Brazil says UN biodiversity summit needs biopiracy deal
Lack of crop diversity threatens food security: UN
Global food fest urges return to farmers' 'common sense'
Russia to lift ban on flour exports
13 dead as Indonesia's Mount Merapi volcano erupts
Tsunami, volcanic eruption leave 121 dead in Indonesia
S.Korea flood relief aid for N.Korea delayed by bad weather
At least 27 dead after cyclone pounds Myanmar: state media
Madagascar's illicit wood trade to China
Africa's tech explosion holds promise of economic growth
UN to open peace and security office in Gabon
Rwanda, China boost military ties
Study: Human ancestors not 'out of Africa'
How Genes Are Selectively Silenced
Study predicts women in power, Muslims heading West
Baby born from embryo frozen 19 years
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|