Madagascar traders ready $50m shipment of illegally logged rainforest timber

/ Wildmadagascar.org

Traders in Vohemar, a port in northeastern Madagascar, are preparing for to ship $54 million worth of timber illegally logged from the Indian Ocean island nation's rainforest parks, report local sources.

Traders in Vohemar, a port in northeastern Madagascar, are preparing for to ship $54 million worth of timber illegally logged from the Indian Ocean island nation’s rainforest parks, report local sources.

Some 270 containers are being loaded with valuable hardwoods cut during a logging frenzy that ensued following a military coup nearly a year ago. Delmas, a French shipping company, was last week cleared by the “transition authority” army-based to pick up the timber. A local timber syndicate — alleged allied with top advisers in the current regime — has been pushing for resumption of shipments.

The shipment is expected to escalate the already rampant logging of protected rainforests, especially Masoala National Park, a World Heritage site, since stocks of valuable timber trees have been largely exhausted in unprotected areas.

China is the likely destination for the timber, although rosewood products commonly end up in Europe and the United States.

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