Namibia deforestation

Namibia Staggering Logging Deforestation

Namibia, largely a water-shy desert now suffers from staggering deforestation as a result of logging. In the Northern region, large tracts of ancient rosewood trees occur naturally. Sadly, not for much longer. Apparently, China and Vietnam provide a market for the trees. Seemingly, loopholes in projects around new “settlement farms” permit logging. Interestingly, logging allegedly happens on farms leased to members of the ruling party, the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) party.

Staggering deforestation in Namibia

Staggeringly, the OCCP, (Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project) reports the 700-year-old rosewoods vanished. Furthermore, the logs end up shipped to China and Vietnam via Walvis bay. Incredibly, this happens despite Namibia signing up as a signatory on the CITES. Specifically, the 2017 agreement bans trade in rosewood. Increasingly, Asian red-wood furniture demand decimates African forests. Particularly, Namibia’s.

Initially, the Namibian reported this problem in August 2019. Specifically, the article quotes export tonnage going from Walvis Bay to China. Citing, 22 tonnes in 2015/16, to 200 tonnes in 2017. Meanwhile, the logging continues at an alarming pace.

Deforestation impacts climate

Additionally, deforestation damages other vegetation. Moreover, according to the Pachamama Alliance, a sustainability organisation, deforestation contributes to “climate change, desertification, soil erosion, flooding,  and increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”

Sadly, too few protest. Tweeter, Pippa Hankinson@pippahankinson says, “They Are Finishing the Trees’: Chinese Companies and Namibian Elites Make Millions Illegally Logging the Last Rosewoods. The logs are among thousands of protected trees illegally cut down on land leased as “settlement farms” to political elites & war vets.”
Likewise, @Raytodd@Raytodd14902895, says, “Namibia: Chinese companies and Namibian elite make millions illegally logging the last rosewoods.”
Importantly, rosewoods exist in the Kavango area. Vitally, the area is important to the environment in Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Angola. Moreover, the area belongs to the local people, none of whom are benefitting from the pillaging.

OCCP is an international journalism grouping investigating and following illicit money, crime and corruption.

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