Africa’s rainforests are being illegally deforested and the wood is likely to be exported to the European Union countries too.
Greenpeace has started an investigation in the region and the latest disclosures about the issue came after The Netherlands has sanctioned a Dutch company for violating the European Timber Regulation. Yet, there are many other countries at risk of importing illegally logged wood from Africa.
According to the Energydesk Greenpeace investigations, the illegally logged wood from Cameroon, especially, makes for 10-30% of the global wood trade. Thus, the forests in Cameroon are suffering from a massive deforestation because of the illegal and unsustainable logging.
The rainforests that are being harmed are very important for the global biodiversity and for the climate also, as the Congo basin is the second largest area of tropical rainforest, after the Amazon.
Despite all the evidence, the government in Cameroon denies the accusations according to which the officials in the country fail to prevent the illegal logging. At the moment, the country is also negotiating with the EU as to receive preferential treatment on timber exports, as Greenpeace reported.
The evidence found in January 2016 shows that La Socamba, a very important supplier, is cutting trees out of its agreed boundaries. The logs are then sold to the Compagnie De Transport Et De Commerce (CCT), which sells them all around the world, including China and the EU. Greenpeace researchers have then found logs and sawnwood with the CCT logo all around China, Belgium, The Netherlands and Spain.
Also, the wood exported to China is then sold to the EU countries.
“On the request of Greenpeace, MINFOF has ordered an audit of the activities of CCT and its suppliers. The expected report will establish the responsibilities of anyone involved in illegal activities as well as trace the resulting timber,” CCT reports stated.
According to Greenpeace, the main issue is that the illegal logging might harm the local communities and create deforestation, as the Cameroon rainforests offer a very important habitat for many endangered gorillas, chimpanzees and forest elephants.
Also, as Greenpeace shows, the chaotic logging operations in Cameroon are also a common cause of social conflicts, as they frequently occur without the consent of forest-dependent communities, who see their resource base destroyed with rarely any benefit in return.