China, the main beneficiary of forest plundering

China, the main beneficiary of forest plundering
China, the main beneficiary of forest plundering

500,000 tonnes of wood were illegally exported to China each year between 2017 and 2023, the majority in the form of logs, reveals an investigation carried out by the Environmental Investigation Agency, a British NGO which denounces the plunder of Mozambique’s forest resources . They would result in a shortfall of around $500 million, according to the NGO’s estimates. These exchanges have continued even though the export of logs from native tree species is prohibited

This illegal trade is enabled by systemic corruption that permeates every step of the supply chain, from forest to port. Sources interviewed by the British NGO describe bribes ranging from Chinese traders to high-ranking officials, to agencies including customs and tax authorities, the Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development , as well as security and police personnel.

This trade would also benefit several shipowners who offer their freight services for these goods, including the CMA-CGM group, the Danish Maersk, and the Italian-Swiss MSC which transport thousands of containers transporting wood in the form of logs to China. “Shipping companies and importing countries such as China must change their current modus operandi and assist the Mozambican authorities by enforcing national laws and international treaty obligations to put an end to this illegal trade which is destroying forests. and harms the population of Mozambique,” ​​recommends the NGO. According to official data, Mozambique is experiencing rapid deforestation, with the country’s forest cover falling from 88% in 1980 to 43% in 2020, a loss of more than 250,000 hectares per year.

By AJ.SEditorial Committee

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