News / Africa

Illegal Logging Costs Mozambique, Other Countries

x
Pamela Dockins
A new report says illegal logging has resulted in a loss of millions of dollars of potential revenue in Mozambique, one of the world's least-developed countries.  A London-based NGO says Mozambique's plight is part of a global problem.

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) says up to 48 percent of timber exported from Mozambique to China may be illegal.

A February EIA report says illegal harvests may have cost the cash-strapped African nation $30 million in lost state revenues in 2012.

EIA forest analyst Chris Moye says officials in both countries are at fault.  

"Chinese companies are knowingly breaking the laws, including producing fraudulent documentation which lies about the shipments that they are in fact sending over to China," said Moye.  "And, they are able to do that because they have political patronage."  

In Mozambique, Vanessa Cabanelas, a technical advisor for the group Environmental Justice, says the EIA findings come as no surprise.

"The situation is really bad and the way it is going, I do no know for how long it will be bad but it will end eventually with no wood," said Cabanelas.   

She says Mozambique's government does not have the means and the power to deal with the magnitude of the issue.

It is not just a problem for Mozambique. Kerry Cesareo of the World Wildlife Fund says illegal logging is a global problem.

"Some of the top countries where we see a very high estimated rate of illegal harvest would include Russia, China, Indonesia, Brazil, Malaysia and I would probably add Bolivia, Ghana and Cameroon," said Cesareo.

She says the problem is fueled by an increasing demand for wood and wood products coupled with weak enforcement of logging regulations and corruption.  

"So you have strong demand that may drive illegal harvesting on the ground and sometimes there is a blind eye being turned, or there is just inadequate capacity to control the forestry service and enforce existing laws related to forest management," Cesareo said .

Those existing laws include regulations against importing illegal timber as well as laws against trading timber harvested illegally.

Secretary-General Ben Gunneberg heads the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, the world's largest forest certification program.  The group works with countries to help keep logging at a sustainable level.  He says the governments of some of the countries hit hard by illegal logging are working with international regulators.  

"Those are the negotiations that have been taking place in some of the countries, and by no means all of the countries, where the issues are fairly major," said Gunneberg.

He says forest management is key because about 1.6 billion people rely on forests for their livelihood to some degree.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid