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Cycles of Destruction: Unsustainability, Illegality, and Violence in the Hongmu Trade

EIA has produced a new briefing ahead of the 17th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species on the trade of a rare and valuable "red wood" known commonly as hongmu. Demand for this rosewood in China has grown exponentially over the past 15 years, from 144,500m3 imported in 2000 to over 2 million m3 in 2014. After a brief slowdown in 2015, the demand is once again on the rise in 2016 despite a general economic slowdown in China and the government's anticorruption campaign. Logs, which provide little value-added in source countries, account for approximately 80 percent of overall hongmu imports. During the first half of 2016, China imported on average the equivalent of 350 hongmu logs per hour.

Download our briefing, Cycles of Destruction: Unsustainability, Illegality, and Violence in the Hongmu Trade here.

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Recent Blog Posts

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.
Civil Society Statement on the Weakening of Institutions and Governance in the Forest Sector
03/13/2020
Civil Society Statement on the Weakening of Institutions and Governance in the Forest Sector

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.
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.

Recent Press Releases

Exposed: The Gambia’s Blood Wood Trafficking
06/03/2020
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)’s new report, Cashing-In On Chaos, conclusively establishes links between timber trafficking controlled by Senegalese armed rebels; the decade-long smuggling of an estimated 1.6 million trees from Senegal to The Gambia; and the illegal re-export of the disappearing rosewood trees to China, in violation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Some of EIA’s findings are featured in the BBC’s documentary The Trees That Bleed: How rosewood is smuggled from Senegal into Gambia, released in March 2020.
EIA looks forward to the release of an uncensored rosewood investigative report by the Ghanaian government
01/23/2020
EIA looks forward to the release of an uncensored rosewood investigative report by the Ghanaian government

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
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