House Of Representatives Probes Illegal Logging By Chinese

Rosewood logs everywhere


The House of Representatives is investigating allegations that Chinese nationals are causing deforestation by engaging in tree-cutting and illegally exporting woods out of the country.

An ad hoc committee chaired by Bede Uchenna-Eke said on Thursday that the act was a major factor contributing to the fast depleting forest reserves in the country and the negative impact on the environment.

Citing “massive deforestation and alleged corruption”, the committee revealed that though the activities of the Chinese and other illegal wood theives were reported to security agencies, particularly the police, it appeared that no serious measures had been taken to halt the trend.

Eke said the committee would summon the Inspector-General of Police,  Ibrahim Idris, to brief lawmakers on measures he had taken to address the illegal acts.






     

     

    An investigation published by www.icirnigeria.org on January 18, 2016 detailed how corruption by local officials and sharp practices by Chinese businessmen drive a thriving illegal trade in timber from Nigeria and a large part of West Africa with grave consequences for the economy, ecosystem and the environment.

    The report titled, “How China Fuels Deforestation In Nigeria, West Africa” revealed that in many states, including Kogi, Ekiti, Ondo, Ogun, Taraba, Kaduna, Adamawa and Cross River, a rapacious demand by China for an ornate species of wood, rosewood (Pterocarpus erinaceus), locally known as Kosso, has, since late 2013, fuelled an unprecedented frenzy of illegal logging of wood that is fast depleting the nation’s natural forestry resources.

    The report indicated that timber merchants working for Chinese businessmen are moving from one state to another depleting the rosewood resources in their forests, leaving blighted and raped landscapes without minding the enduring effects of unrestrained harvesting of the product on the environment.

    The story also detailed how the unprecedented demand for rosewood in Nigeria is driven by a rapacious need by China to feed a taste for ornate and luxury furniture by the country’s burgeoning middle and upper class.

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