Illegal logging in Madagascar is causing environmental damage and contributing to climate change. The annual rate of forest loss in Madagascar is now estimated three times higher than that of Indonesia.
Since June 2009, Global Witness and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) have been contracted by Madagascar National Parks (MNP) to investigate the illegal harvesting and trade of ebony, pallisander and rosewood, which spiked dramatically following the political coup in Madagascar. Consumer demand for rosewood furniture and musical instruments is driving illegal logging in Madagascar's national parks, endangering wildlife and undermining local community livelihoods, according to this new report.
The document shows that Madagascar's valuable hardwoods are being illegally harvested from rainforest parks and trafficked to Asia, Europe, and the United States. The vast majority of timber—98 percent—however ends up in China, where it is converted into luxury furniture.
One piece of furniture made of the illegal wood, a bed, has been found on the market in China for 1 million dollars.
Valuable timber has been exploited from Madagascar’s rainforests for many decades, and Malagasy rosewood, ebony and palissandre are among the most sought after hardwoods in the world. Large quantities have been harvested and exported at an increasing rate, almost entirely from illegal logging in protected areas
"Madagascar's natural assets are being stripped to feed a ready network of international buyers," said Reiner Tegtmeyer of Global Witness. "We first exposed the scale of this problem in October last year but the plunder shows little sign of slowing."
Investigation Into The Global Trade in Malagasy Precious Woods:
Rosewood, Ebony and Pallisander
photo: Environmental Investigation Agency