RELEASE: French President Sarkozy’s Dangerous Deforestation Doublespeak

Pledges to work to end deforestation as French company prepares to ship illegal logs from Madagascar
From Earth's Newsdesk, a project of EcoInternet (EI)
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(Paris, France) — French President Nicolas Sarkozy last week said rich nations must do more to help fight deforestation, as he hosted a Paris conference on saving the world's forests. Sarkozy stated defending the world's forests demanded more aggressive funding. “Those who don't want to do anything are those who don't want to pay,” he said in an opening address. He reiterated his appeal for a tax on financial market transactions worldwide that could be earmarked for a global climate fund. These are good ideas, yet President Sarkozy is guilty of dangerous hypocrisy as a French company continues to threaten Madagascar's rainforests.
As Sarkozy argued the need to stop deforestation, shipments of illegal rosewood are being readied for export in Madagascar by a French company with the tacit approval of the French government. Some 4,000-5,000 tons of rosewood will be shipped under the auspices of Delmas, according to Derek Schuurman, who has published papers on the illegal logging crisis for the Madagascar Conservation Journal and TRAFFIC. “An estimated 200-270 containers are likely to be exported in March,” says Schuurman. The French and mainstream media worldwide has largely been silent on the crisis even though it threatens Madagascar's rainforest, people, and wildlife. EcoInternet's global network has already delayed, though not permanently stopped, these illegal rosewood shipments[1].

The logging crisis began in March of 2009 when destabilization following a government coup allowed loggers to enter several of Madagascar's world-renowned parks and illegally log rosewood and other valuable trees. Tens of thousands of hectares were logged in Madagascar's most biodiverse rainforests, which also sparked a rise in bushmeat trafficking of lemurs. Since the coup, donor nations have drastically cut their aid to Madagascar. The transitional government has turned to the illegal trade in rosewood from its national parks to retain its grip on power. The shipment is expected to leave the port of Vohemar in Madagascar on March 16-17th. Schuurman says that the ship is likely bound for China, which does not have regulations like Europe and the US against trading in illegally logged woods.
"While we hail growing realization regarding the importance of old forests, and the number of initiatives to


  1. PRESS RELEASE – March 19, 2010
    INDIGENOUS peoples were excluded when forest countries and donor governments met in Paris on March 11, 2010 to discuss a major forests and climate initiative. The parties met under an invitation from the French and Norwegian governments to start developing governance structures for the 3.5 billion USD Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) readiness funds announced in Copenhagen at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP15 last December. The UNFCCC negotiations are still far from delivering final commitments in full respect of indigenous peoples'rights.
    "Failure to include indigenous peoples from the very inception of the French-Norwegian initiative is unacceptable. The lock-out from the Paris meeting is further evidence of the urgency to ensure full and effective participation of indigenous peoples at all levels of negotiations and discussions on issues related to their land, resources and territories and to their rights as recognized by international legal agreements and instruments such as the
    United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP)" said Mina Setra, an indigenous representative from The Alliance of Archipelagic Indigenous People (AMAN), Indonesia.
    "Lack of proper engagement and consultation with indigenous peoples is not only confined to international processes but is also a common feature of key REDD processes at the national level. We therefore urge governments to ensure that any architecture under discussion to administer REDD readiness funds be rights-based, accountable, transparent and participatory" said Pacifique Mukumba Isumbisho from CAMV (Support Center for Indigenous Pygmies and Vulnerable Minorities), Democratic Republic of Congo.
    Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) continues to work with the broader indigenous peoples coalitions to ensure that any decision on interim REDD financing will be anchored to the recognition of Indigenous Peoples' rights, such as the right to access to information, consultation and participation, the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and the right to their land and forests.
    FPP calls on the Norwegian government to ensure that indigenous peoples are fully involved and consulted in the process leading up to the meeting to be held in Oslo in May when heads of government and heads of state are expected to approve the REDD partnership proposal.
    For further information please contact:
    Francesco Martone
    Senior Policy Advisor
    Forest Peoples Programme
    Tel: +39.064402464 – +39.3384051174
    Email: – Website:

  2. I can not believe that the rain forests are still being hacked down in this day and age. What a travesty. I can not believe we have not invented a faster way to grow tree's or a different product other than wood (for as much as it is being used.) The rain forest was such a big topic the last ten years and without more attention the problem will only get worse.

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