VICTORY! Madagascar Reinstates Rainforest Protections Following EI Led Global Public Outcry
Madagascar's transitional government last week reinstated a ban on rosewood logging [search] and exports, following prolonged and growing pressure over illegal logging of its national parks spearheaded by Ecological Internet. As reported by Mongabay, the decree (no. 2010-141) prohibits all exports of rosewood and precious timber for two to five years. With the export ban in place, the fate of 10,000-15,000 metric tons of already illegally logged rosewood awaiting export remains uncertain. It is also unclear whether illegal loggers and traders will be prosecuted .
“These issues, getting this moratorium to be permanent, and working to demonstrate community development from standing primary and restored rainforests will require continued vigilance and campaigning. Yet, two important points have been made. It is again demonstrated that it is possible to end rainforest logging. And the emergence of an empowered global movement committed to protecting and restoring old forests – and other ecologically sufficient policy necessary to achieve global ecological sustainability – is again powerfully demonstrated,” says Dr. Glen Barry, EI President.
Over the past year, Ecological Internet conceived and led an international protest campaign seeking to emphasize the importance of keeping Madagascar’s dwindling primary forests standing and intact as the basis for national advancement . Some 7674 EI network participants from 102 countries sent over 1/2 million protest emails. The result comes just days after EI blasted President Sarkozy of France, a country with deep historical ties to Madagascar, as being “guilty of dangerous hypocrisy” for condemning deforestation as a French company company continued to threaten Madagascar’s rainforests.
Other groups such as Regenwald, Global Witness and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) that have been protesting the resumption in exports of illegally logged timber cautiously welcomed the move as well. 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. Madagascar’s transitional government then sanctioned timber exports at the end of 2009 despite a long-standing ban on rosewood logging.
 Madagascar bans rainforest timber exports following global outcry,
More Information can be found at Mongabay which has broken and continues to cover the story.