Traffic Madagascar rosewood

October 2009 in Masoala National Park, an area of Sava, northeast of Madagascar. Teams of the Task Force, a delegation of the army in place since September by the new Environment Minister Calixte Randriamiandrisoa, are dispatched from the capital Antananarivo to demonstrate their commitment to fight against trafficking of rosewood . In the peninsula, the army uniforms unfortunately tend to blend into the local landscape ...

Since the event gives the beginning of the year that rocked the island, the government had lost control of the natural resources of national parks and reserves.
"Madagascar and Masoala are on the verge of losing their unique heritage of natural resources. That there will soon impoverish forests, erosion and poverty. The only ones profiting are the barons of rosewood and their allies who are organizing the current plundering of the treasures of the rainforest "alert in August, Zoo Director Alex.RUBEL Zurick, a partner of the local association Wildife Conservation Society who campaigns for the safeguarding of protected species and sustainable tourism.
Returning to the World Heritage by UNESCO in 2007, the Masoala National Park is yet shamelessly plundered. Its forests are among the most diverse of the Indian Ocean and are veritable laboratories for scientific research. The steep hills are home to an exceptional diversity of plants, animals and precious woods.
Classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in the category of endangered species, the rosewood is absolutely protected. Regeneration is almost zero and, unlike Guyana, there is no policy of replanting. In addition, the forest and the park is increasingly reduced (the "Tavy" or slash and burn agriculture is practiced in the region), cyclones are engulfed more, causing ever greater damage. Clement "Radar", former weatherman now working for the NGO CARE evokes a considerable drop in rainfall over the past twenty years in the region: "In 300 days of rain per year in 1980, we are now past 120 days. Average temperatures have also increased four degrees. All this has naturally had an impact on agriculture, old and young master does indeed now more the cultural calendar. "
Very popular in the manufacture of furniture and miscellaneous objects, rosewood stands above all other woods for its fragrance and aromatherapy virtues. The production of essential oil is highly profitable, one liter of oil being obtained with 100 kilos of rosewood, the 10 ml currently costing 11 euros. The logs of rosewood weighing between 100 and 250 kg are exported to 11 U.S. dollars (8.50 euros) per kilo by the local mafia flights from abroad, where China emerges as the main destination.

Despite the limitations of the Malagasy government that only allows the collection of trunks uprooted by hurricanes, beginning in October 2009, 325 containers, each containing 24,000 pieces, are officially part of the Port of Tamatave.en to China. The measures taken by the government to stop the illegal cutting of rosewood face a delivery that seems very well organized ......... with ecological and human disaster.

Illicit traffic allowed?

Under the regime of Didier Ratsiraka, the exploitation of "precious woods" was suspended, ostensibly to allow the state to clean the chain.
In 2004, following the two cyclones Elita and Gafilo, experiencing strong population but also the fauna and flora, especially in the region Sava, Marc Ravalomanana's regime promulgated a ministerial decree (No. 17939/2004 of 21 September 2004) allowing for some business operators to collect, sell and export the wood torn from these disasters. This authority ended March 30, 2005 officially, but it corresponds to a sharp rise in lumber prices rose on the Chinese market. The ebony and rosewood previously sought were virtually abandoned. Operating permits are issued for limited number, and through various arrangements, local economic operators, including a majority of Chinese mestizos originating in Canton, arrived in the region in the 60s. At independence the country, many French, whose wealthy owners of vanilla had to leave the country and sold their family business. SAVA region remains the most productive and vanilla from Madagascar, despite increasing instability of its course on the world market. Rosewood has been a boon for exporters.
Recently, the much-criticized interministerial decree of 21 September 2009 has authorized the export of precious wood to 13 operators, each with an official quota of up to 25 containers. "In reality, trade is freer because exporters have to get rid of the 72 million Ariary (25000 euro) per container, 12 million are officially aimed at fighting against the degradation of the Environment and Forests. Of the total container port Vohemar, 95% are for export of rosewood, "says the head of Customs Vohemar. In early October, 325 containers are shipped to China. Associations "Global Witness" and the Platform of Civil Associations for the protection of the environment then ask the suspension of the order, to no avail. "Do not buy stolen rosewood" she wrote in the newspaper inserts nationnaux. On the ground, little awareness campaigns were conducted. ANGAP, now the Madagascar National Park, through its agents, conducting GPS surveys of logs observed but without being able to intervene, while the waters and forests seized a small amount of logs in Antalaha and Vohemar when they were not sold ...
The decree was officially terminated on November 30 and all stocks of the country be seized by the state. The fever seems too strong to stop anytime soon.
Involved in a network chain.
The country's economic instability, the decline of tourism in this region of Madagascar, augmentaion delinquency are beneficial to the developement of traffic rosewood. "Nearly 3,000 persons currently illegally in the national park said in September the Zurich Zoo. And according to a recent study by the Word Wildlife Fund (WWF) in the Sava region, there is an overexploitation of the misery of the Malagasy population. Loggers and boatmen perceive MGA 10,000 (3.5) per day to transport "Bolabola," the tree trunks rose from the depths of the forest to the mouths of rivers. This work flow system are often in inhumane conditions, accidents are murderers to be deplored regularly. The youth of the villages are less likely to work in the woods. In a speech, or they felt they could do anything on land belonging to their ancestors, they are now more measured about the risks of such looting. Unlike those from the regions around, which derive immediate pleasure that this money going to get drunk and pay for prostitutes at night.
Many intermediaries involved then to transport by road or river rosewood to the Port of Vohemar, before the goods left for China. Control agents such as inspectors, customs officers, police, gendarmerie seem to look down the traffic and do not act at the time of slaughter, storage and container development. Between Vohemar and Antalaha, there are no fewer than seven dams economic control. The former environment minister was sacked following a case of wood, but as stated by the new minister, a true mafia network formed around this track. Customs officials, politicians, members of civil society, chiefs of villages, port authorities, government officials are related .... traffickers in precious wood. The Task Force has even dug up 32 logs of rosewood in the courtyard of the company TIKO company of former President Ravalomanana is that the magnitude of the traffic. But for many the task force would be just a facade to appease public opinion and international bodies.
Conclusion. While the timber seems to be reduced, but significant quantities of wood remain stored anywhere on the peninsula. In a political situation that does not change much, and leaves on the floor a growing number of Malagasy, the announcement of the seizure by the state of all the logs look like a utopia. Real economy was built around the rosewood and it seems difficult now to go back, what is more on the eve of the hurricane season by increasing the damage on the peninsula, and creating confusion among STRING agencies. Is reducing year by year, Masoala National Park is still part of the primary forest rainforest, concealing fauna and flora always rich. Once rosewood disappeared, and part of tourism with, about how lucrative trade will turn the local mafia, authorizing the depletion of natural resources: Malagasy, a leak still the largest local financial capital.
October 2009.