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CITES COMMITTEE EXTENDS EMBARGO ON MALAGASY WOOD

01/25/2016

An embargo on trading Madagascar’s ebonies, palisanders, and rosewoods was extended by the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade and Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The illegal harvest and trade of Madagascar’s precious wood has a detrimental impact on the livelihood of people dependent on the forests and on the Malagasy ecosystem. Madagascar has fallen short of its 2013 CITES commitments; it failed to implement the necessary structural reforms to its judicial branch to ensure robust forest governance, and no one has been jailed or seriously prosecuted for forest crimes. While the exporting of Malagasy wood has slowed, it is not attributable to enforcement efforts but rather to decreased demand due to economic turbulence in China. Madagascar has banned both exporting and harvesting these woods since 2006, and the 2013 CITES embargo was adopted to support the Malagasy government efforts. The extended embargo will be in place until the next CITES Standing Committee meeting on September 23, 2016, in Johannesburg, South Africa. For the full story, see http://news.mongabay.com/2016/01/international-embargo-on-exports-of-madagascars-precious-woods-extended/