Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


African nations aim to brake surging trade in illegal timber

09 September 2015, 18:15

Toronto - Forest protection agencies in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique and Madagascar will step up joint efforts to combat the rapidly expanding trade in illegal timber under a new deal.

The Zanzibar Declaration on Illegal Logging, signed on Wednesday at a global gathering on forests in South Africa, aims to improve communication between customs authorities and collaboration among forest officials from the east and southeast African nations.

If properly managed, forests provide jobs for workers and homes for wildlife. They also act as a filter pulling planet-warming carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, so protecting them is crucial for the broader environment.

Across the region, the illegal timber trade is flourishing at an alarming pace, said Juma S Mgoo, chief executive officer of Tanzania's Forest Service. Criminal groups are benefiting from the environmental destruction.

"Forests continue to dwindle at unprecedented rates in our region," Mgoo said in a statement.

"If we continue at the rate which we are going there will be nothing left for our children and their children to enjoy."

Also Read: ECOWAS calls for creation of gender, trade research centres

Kenya loses around $10m annually due to the illegal cross-border wood trade with Tanzania, while Tanzania loses more than $8m, according to studies cited by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a green group backing the new agreement.

Between 2000 and 2012, forest cover in Tanzania shrank by 2 million hectares, an area the size of Wales in Britain and by 2.2 million hectares in Mozambique, a WWF analysis showed.

Prior to Wednesday's agreement, the fight against illegal logging had been "hindered by inadequate collaboration among national forest agencies and customs agencies across the region", said WWF spokesperson Geofrey Mwanjela in a statement calling the new plan a "bold step".

In east, central and west Africa, criminal groups are thought to make more money from selling illegal wood products, up to $9bn annually, than through street-level drug-dealing, the United Nations Environment Programme reported last year.

Violent armed groups and "terrorist organisations" in parts of east and central Africa use illegal logging and other forest crimes to finance their activities, Unep said.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...