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Million-dollar beds fuel Madagascar timber crisis

Source:  Copyright 2010, BBC
Date:  October 26, 2010
Original URL: Status ONLINE
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Soaring demand in China and political unrest in Madagascar are fuelling illegal logging for hardwoods in the African nation, a report concludes.

Global Witness and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) talked to loggers, government agencies and traders to compile their report.

In China, they found Madagascan wood beds on sale for $1m (£630,000).

The report was launched at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) meeting in Nagoya, Japan.

Madagascan politics is split between factions associated with ex-President Marc Ravalomana and the rival who ousted him in a 2009 coup, Andry Rajoelina.

Conservation groups have previously warned that illegal extraction of timber and wildlife could flourish in this milieu, but the EIA/Global Witness is the first investigation to show the scale of the problem.

"The pre-existing problem of illegal logging was turned into a flood of tree-cutting in national ...

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