The 6th annual forum on illegal timber trade in East Africa
Madagascar has been struggling to curtail the illegal export of its timber. During the forum, it was revealed that Kenya had seized 700 cubic meters of rosewood at Mombasa port in 2014, allegedly shipped from Madagascar illegally. These rosewoods are still in Mombasa until today. Illicit timber trade is extremely harmful – it undermines good governance, and deprives local communities of legitimate income, hurting their economies.
“The forum was an opportunity for the Malagasy delegates to reiterate their engagement to fight against illegal exploitation and trade of timber”, according to Simon Rafanomezantsoa from WWF. “We must return to legal and sustainable exploitation and trade of forest products” he added. The Malagasy delegation was composed of representatives from the CITES Management Authority at the Ministry of Environment, Ecology and Forest and the civil society.
At the forum, participants also called for regional transport companies to commit to only transporting legal products, governments to commit funds to implement the actions agreed under the Zanzibar Declaration, and EAC (East African Community) and SADC (Southern African Development Community) to offer closer support to member states.