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)
You can still TAKE ACTION on this matter at:
(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.
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