Three men are piling wood on a solitary truck parked along the only the road to Djendo, a small town in eastern Guinea-Bissau. They work in silence, throwing rosewood, a high-quality timber especially prized in China, into the vehicle’s bed. A moratorium on cutting timber was put in place in the West African country in 2015, but the manager of this operation says these logs are dead wood, and thus legal to sell. A few months from now, he might not have to worry about explaining himself: high-level government officials in Guinea-Bissau are pushing to lift the logging ban. The council of ministers has drafted a decree lifting the moratorium that awaits only the president’s signature. Loading rosewood into a truck. Image by Ricci Shryock for Mongabay. Forestry agent Malam Djassi was posted to Djendo in 2019 — the first government official anyone here can remember assigned specifically to monitor logging. Recalling the period between 2012 and 2014, when illegal logging threatened to wipe out the country’s stock of rosewood trees entirely, he says he hopes the moratorium will not be lifted. “High numbers of large trees that existed at that time were almost wiped out,” he says. According to a 2018 report by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), timber exports from Guinea-Bissau to China went from 61 tons in 2007 to close to 98,000 tons in 2014. “We think the state should extend the moratorium more so that the smallest trees grow and then open” to timber sales again,…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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