If you are looking for EIA UK, it's overhere.

Mukula Cartel

In Zambia the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) found that a handful of very high profile figures have apparently orchestrated and facilitated massive trafficking operations for years that are driving mukula rosewood trees to the edge of commercial extinction, devastating vulnerable forests and threatening communities’ livelihoods.

Conservative estimates show that on average over 50 40- foot containers of mukula have been exported monthly from June 2017 to May 2019 (equivalent to over 2,000 cubic meters each month) in breach of export bans, according to EIA's analysis. This illegal trade generates a total of approximately US$7.5 million paid annually in bribes and informal “fees," as traffickers described to investigators. According to the traffickers met by EIA undercover investigators, prominent figures of the Zambian government and political sphere, including President Edgar Lungu, his daughter Tasila Lungu, Given Lubinda (Minister of Justice), and Jean Kapata (Minister of Lands and Natural Resources), are central figures in this illicit network. If not dismantled, this mukula cartel* has the power to derail the international protection recently granted to the rare African trees under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). At the current rate of exploitation, the rosewood species may soon be extinct.

Download the report - High Res

Download the report - Low Res

*A cartel refers to "an association of similar companies or businesses that have grouped together in order to prevent competition and to control prices" (per Collins Dictionary definition). One of the individuals who spoke to EIA undercover investigators stated that they usually refer to the individuals and activities described in this report as a cartel.

Report updated 12/12/2019

View all Reports

Recent Blog Posts

Respaldo de Sociedad Civil a Defensora Ambiental en Perú
03/26/2021
60 instituciones y miembros de la sociedad civil y organizaciones indígenas en Perú emitieron hoy un comunicado respaldando a la Defensora Ambiental Lucila Pautrat ante los ataques que viene recibiendo de parte de una empresa investigada por la instalación no autorizada de monocultivos agroindustriales en Tamshiyacu, en la Amazonía peruana.
Escazu Agreement Offers Hope but is Only the Beginning
02/23/2021
2020 was a terrible year across the globe, but particularly for Latin America’s environmental defenders. After record numbers of murders in 2019, the perils for environmental and human rights defenders did not decline in 2020. In fact, these threats remained high and even increased during the pandemic, as illegal loggers, miners, and other land grabbers had free reign to encroach upon remote communities. And this time, the intruders brought with them the deadly coronavirus.

Recent Reports

Cashing-In On Chaos
06/03/2020
Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)’s three-year investigation into the Senegal-Gambia-China rosewood traffic uncovered unprecedented evidence on a series of major forest crimes.
EIA 2018 Impact Report
09/09/2019
In 2018 the Environmental Investigation Agency continued to confront the greatest environmental threats facing the world today. The EIA team pursued, documented and exposed the activities of syndicates that threaten endangered species, damage the climate and ozone layer, and drive the trade in timber stolen from the world’s most important remaining forests.

Recent Press Releases

ORAU Statement on the murders of two indigenous Cacataibo leaders in Peru
03/03/2021
EIA joins ORAU in expressing outrage at the murders of human rights defenders who are protecting the Amazon region and their communities, and echoes ORAU’s calls for urgent and immediate actions. Here is an EIA-translated version in English of ORAU’s original letter in Spanish.
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: Romania’s New Timber Traceability System Removes Public Transparency
02/03/2021
On January 31, Romania released a new electronic timber traceability system, an important step in its transition to a fully digital forest sector. Unfortunately, the new system has inexplicably removed all public transparency.

Recent Videos

Mukula Cartel
12/05/2019
In Zambia the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) found that a handful of very high profile figures have apparently orchestrated and facilitated massive trafficking operations for years that are driving mukula rosewood trees to the edge of commercial extinction, devastating vulnerable forests and threatening communities’ livelihoods
Japan’s Ivory Trade Faces Intensifying Opposition at Home and Abroad (Japanese Subtitles)
10/29/2019
Japan’s Ivory Trade Faces Intensifying Opposition at Home and Abroad
Follow us @eiaenvironment on twitter for the latest updates!