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Paying Off the Traffickers: A Costly and Dangerous Precedent

The revised “Stockpile Verification Mechanism and Business Plan” (hereafter “Business Plan”) presented by Madagascar to the Standing Committee (SC) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) at its 70th meeting (SC70) fails to resolve serious concerns raised by the Secretariat, by Parties at SC69, and by international experts. , These include the absence of financial oversight on revenues from the stockpile sale – in the context of presidential elections in 2018 and legislative elections in 2019 – and the lack of monitoring for the sale’s impact on wild populations of Dalbergia spp. and Diospyros spp. The lack of effort to recover hidden stockpiles, which represent over 90 percent of total stockpiles, is also worrying.

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Recent Blog Posts

Mukulagate
09/16/2021
While the coronavirus pandemic rages on, ravaging Zambia’s economy and crippling its citizens' lives, new findings by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) show that illegal exploitation and trade in mukula (Pterocarpus tinctorius) persists unabated, benefitting a small number of well-connected and wealthy individuals. A probing undercover investigation into illegal mukula logging and trade sheds light on the apparent theft of more than 10,000 trees and unveils information connecting the Zambia Agency For Persons With Disabilities (ZAPD), the Ministry of Community and Social Services, the Ministry of Tourism and Arts, and the office of the vice president. Nearly two years after EIA’s exposé on the institutional looting of Zambian forests, it appears that the more things have changed with the pandemic, when it comes to mukula, the more they’ve stayed the same.
Seizing the Moment: How Ghana Can End the Destruction of the Illegal Rosewood Trade Now
07/21/2020
As exports and imports worldwide are estimated to be at their lowest levels in four years due to the impact of COVID-19, Ghana, a key epicenter of the rosewood trade in West Africa, is no exception to this trend.

Recent Reports

How U.S. Imports of Agricultural Commodities Contribute to Deforestation and Why it Matters
10/01/2021
A significant proportion of agricultural commodities produced on illegally deforested land enter global supply chains, exposing major markets such as the U.S. to environmental and human rights abuses, corruption, and organized crime through imports of raw materials and related manufactured goods, while undercutting companies trying to source legally and responsibly.
The Lie Behind the Ply
06/30/2021
In an unprecedented investigation that connects threatened forests of Solomon Islands, China’s timber manufacturing hubs, and European importers, our new report The Lie Behind the Ply reveals how European consumers of tropical plywood have been the unwitting drivers of forest degradation. Our findings show that European companies appear to have imported thousands of tons of tropical-faced plywood, at high risk of containing illegal wood and in apparent violation of European law.

Recent Press Releases

Empresa norteamericana se declara culpable de importar madera ilegal del Perú
09/27/2021
Este mes, un importador de madera de los Estados Unidos, Global Plywood and Lumber Trading LLC, se declaró culpable de importar madera ilegal del Perú en violación de la Ley Lacey de los Estados Unidos, que prohíbe el comercio de productos madereros ilegales en dicho país. Una investigación de seis años llevada a cabo por las autoridades del gobierno norteamericano Homeland Security Investigations, Customs and Border Protection y el Departamento de Justicia, demostró que al menos el 92% de la madera de Global Plywood en este envío había sido talada ilegalmente en la selva amazónica.
The Lie Behind the Ply
06/30/2021
European Consumers of Tropical Plywood have been the Unwitting Drivers of Threatened Forest Degradation