Madagascar and CITES Cooperating to Address Illegal Timber Trade
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On the margins of the 69th UN General Assembly, Madagascar President, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, and John Scanlon, Secretary-General, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) discussed continued cooperation and means to stem illegal trade in timber.

cites7 October 2014: On the margins of the 69th UN General Assembly, Madagascar President, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, and John Scanlon, Secretary-General, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), discussed continued cooperation and means to stem illegal trade in timber.

The meeting served as a follow-up to April 2014 talks held in Brussels, Belgium. Madagascar has since requested the International Consortium on Combatting Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) to provide the rapid deployment of a Wildlife Incident Support Team (WIST), led by INTERPOL, to guide and facilitate law enforcement actions to address illegal logging and stem the flow of illegally harvested timber exiting the country. At the sixty-fifth meeting of the CITES Standing Committee (SC65), Madagascar was requested to continue working on the implementation of its Action Plan as well as to significantly increase enforcement actions at the national level and enforcement cooperation at the international level.

Madagascar’s President warned the UN General Assembly that despite efforts, illegal logging and trafficking remains a critical challenge for the country. CITES Secretary-General Scanlon offered legal and scientific support to Madagascar, including the possibility of future assistance under the International Tropical Timber (ITTO)-CITES programme.

ICCWC partners are exchanging information and cooperating to assist countries working to combat forest crime. Large volumes of rosewood logs have reportedly disappeared from depots in northeast Madagascar in recent months, with traffickers possibly smuggling the logs by small boats to larger ships waiting offshore, according to CITES. [CITES News] [IISD RS Summary and Analysis of CITES SC65] [IISD RS article on CITES, Madagascar and Illegal Timber Trade]

 


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