New Internationalist

Logging off?

May 2010

The fight is on to end illegal logging in the uniquely biodiverse ancient forests of Madagascar. Following a military coup in March 2009, Madagascar’s formerly protected national parks have been pillaged for precious hardwoods. The illegal loggers were acting with the tacit support of the interim government, which formally sanctioned timber exports at the end of 2009. Tens of thousands of hectares have been affected, spurring a rise in the bushmeat trade which has seen many rare lemurs slaughtered for restaurants. Locals who attempted to stop the plunder were intimidated and in some cases beaten.

The start of 2010 saw national and international pressure intensify on the Madagascar Government. Growing criticism of rosewood trafficking included an email campaign by Ecological Internet resulting in thousands of messages of protest, and public appeals by Global Witness and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) to the governments of France and Madagascar.

Then on 24 March, the Government reinstated the ban on rosewood logging and exports. Environmental campaigners cautiously welcomed the move. ‘There is still a lot to do… but we have succeeded on the first step,’ commented Lucienne Wilmé, a French scientist who has been tracking the rosewood trade.

But questions remain as to whether the interim government has the will to effectively implement and enforce the moratorium. Some prominent advisers to the administration have been linked to the timber trade – and campaigners remain concerned that the moratorium is little more than a PR stunt.

Get the full story here: www.wildmadagascar.org

This column was published in the May 2010 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

Comments on Logging off?

Leave your comment







 

  • Maximum characters allowed: 5000
  • Simple HTML allowed: bold, italic, and links

Registration is quick and easy. Plus you won’t have to re-type the blurry words to comment!
Register | Login

...And all is quiet.

Subscribe to Comments for this articleArticle Comment Feed RSS 2.0

Guidelines: Please be respectful of others when posting your reply.

Get our free fortnightly eNews

Multimedia

Videos from visionOntv’s globalviews channel.

Related articles

Recently in Currents

All Currents

Popular tags

All tags

This article was originally published in issue 432

New Internationalist Magazine issue 432
Issue 432

More articles from this issue

  • Iraq in pieces

    May 1, 2010

    Hadani Ditmars returns to a country where ongoing conflict underscores a humanitarian disaster.

  • Murderers, you are welcome!

    May 1, 2010

    Jean Baptiste Kayigamba, who lost most of his family in the Rwandan genocide, wonders why Britain and France are harbouring the major perpetrators and whether recent legal changes will make a difference.

  • Empire of the senses

    May 1, 2010

    In an Egypt where sexual feelings are kept buttoned up by religiosity, Yahia Lababidi observes an all-pervading sensuality that will not be denied.

New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.

– Emma Thompson –

A subscription to suit you

Save money with a digital subscription. Give a gift subscription that will last all year. Or get yourself a free trial to New Internationalist. See our choice of offers.

Subscribe