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The Hongmu Challenge: an EIA Briefing for 66th CITES Standing Committee

Since 2009, Asian demand has boomed for luxury furniture made with rare, high-value, and deeply hued rosewoods, mahoganies, and ebonies. Principally targeting 33 species within the Pterocarpus, Diospyros, Dalbergia, Millettia, and Cassia genera, sales in China's Hongmu sector exceeded $25 billion in 2014. The Hongmu sector is a significant threat to this group of timber species and constitutes a pressing challenge for CITES and its Parties.

The sector is driving systematic illegal and unsustainable extraction at unprecedented rates and sacles. Across Asia, Africa, and Latin America, the nature of the industry is the same--unsustainable extraction leads to domestic protection which is then undermined by smuggling aided by corrupt officials; finally, better-governed range states seek CITES protections.

EIA U.S. and UK have produced this briefing to accompany the discussions at the 66th CITES Standing Committee meetings.

Download and read the briefing here.

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Recent Reports

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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
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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
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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
Raw Intelligence: GOCA
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Mr. Lu is the Secretary of the Association of Overseas Chinese in Gabon and a leading figure in the Forest Union of the Asian Industry in Gabon (UFIAG). He doesn’t miss an opportunity to publicly defend Chinese logging companies in Gabon, and to assert that these entrepreneurs operate with the best of intentions.
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