Madagascar | Government bid to sell confiscated rosewood, ebony stockpiles turned down by CITES
In August, the government of Madagascar drafted a business plan to sell its stockpiles of rosewood and ebony — hundreds of thousands of logs. The plan required the approval of CITES, which has banned the trade of all species of Malagasy rosewood (Dalbergia spp.) and ebony (Diospyros spp.) since 2013.
On December 1 during a five-day meeting of its standing committee in Geneva, CITES rejected the plan because of the government’s lack of progress in tackling the so-called rosewood crisis and its failure, thus far, to audit enough of the stockpiles. Illegal logging of rosewood and other precious timber spiked in Madagascar’s northeastern rainforests, including in national parks, following a 2009 coup. The logging has since declined but the fate of stockpiled wood has remained an open question.