A new video highlights the plight of Madagascar’s protected tropical forests, which are falling prey to illegal logging and foreign contractors. Featuring Razia Said, Malagasy singer and songwriter, the video shows concerts to raise awareness about illegal logging, especially near Maosala National Park.
Said has recently founded the group Musicians Against Illegal Logging to support the Lacey Act, which prohibits the sale and importation of illegally logged wood in the U.S.
“Illegal logging for wood used in guitars and other instruments is helping to eat away at the irreplaceable forests of my country and the communities that depend on them. Why would musicians want to weaken laws that ensure the continued supply of our instruments?” Said stated in a recent press while protesting at the NAMM Show (the National Association of Music Merchants), which is lobbying for a law, known as the RELIEF Act (HR 3210), that would undercut essential provisions in the Lacey Act.
Following a government coup in 2009, Madagascar suffered an illegal logging crisis that even hit its most famous protected areas. Forest loss in the country not only threatens the island's unique species, such as over a hundred different species of lemur, but also worsens living conditions for the Malagasy people, who now face drastic erosion, soil degradation, overexploitation of resources, and alien species.