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Home Features Government’s “rosewood amnesty” triggers illegal rosewood cutting bonanza

Government’s “rosewood amnesty” triggers illegal rosewood cutting bonanza

The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) calls on the Prime Minister to immediately rescind the rosewood amnesty that was declared by the Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry
and Sustainable Development on April 9, 2013.

The amnesty’s objective of taking stock of previously cut rosewood for export is severely undermined by the fact that the Government did not 1) identify a location in which the rosewood should be stored and guarded, 2) ensure that no rosewood is purchased and transported during the night, 3) have road check points at strategic locations to monitor transportation of rosewood, especially during the night, 4) identify and license the agents who would buy the previously cut flitches.

The absence of these measures for the amnesty has only served to trigger flurries of illegal rosewood cutting in Toledo. SATIIM’s pictures are evidence that rosewood flitches are being cut in numerous areas in Toledo.

It also demonstrates that the government is not providing the adequate resources to deter the illegal cutting and to monitor the unscrupulous buyers who are buying these illegal flitches in the middle of the night. These newly cut rosewood flitches will be sold; in fact some have already been sold. We have not yet heard of any confiscations or arrests.

Where are the flitches going? Where are the rosewood flitches being stored? The amnesty is only serving to perpetuate a vicious cycle of the destruction of our precious resources for short-term gain.

Again, please rescind the amnesty now.

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