Madagascar: 11 conservation groups band together against logging in parks

Eleven conservation organizations—including WWF, CI, and WCS—have banded together to condemn logging in Madagascar’s world renowned parks during a time of political crisis. Taking advantage of the turmoil after interim president Andry Rajoelina took control of thecountry in a bloodless coup from former president Marc Ravalomanana on March 17th, pristine forests have been plundered for valuable wood, wildlife trafficking has increased, and illegal mining operations have begun say the conservation organizations.

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As reported last week by, the forces involved in the
logging are not just impoverished locals, but according to a local
source who spoke on the condition of anonymity, ‘foreign traders’ and
‘big businessmen’.

“[They] have arrived in local towns seeking to take
advantage of the political crisis that has weakened park protection
and enforcement,” the source said. “This is the worst, by far, that
has happened to [Marojejy] park in recent years.

The situation is worse than desperate.” The lawlessness of the situation is confirmed by the conservation organizations who write that the logging is done with “open and organized plundering, sometimes using firearms, of
precious wood from several natural forests, including national parks
such as Marojejy and Masoala.”

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