Monday, October 1, 2012

Rosewood: Get it While You Can

The local fauna of organisms on Madagascar is quite unique compared to the rest of the world. Among those unique species of organisms is the rosewood tree. Known for its beautiful rosy red color, rosewood is used in high end expensive products such as guitars, tables, chairs, and other furniture. The wood is extremely valuable. Rosewood can sell for U.S. $5,000 per cubic meter, more than double the price of mahogany and almost all of the logging is done illegally. The current ban on logging rosewood has not prevented this illegal endeavor in the slightest. Worst of all is that most of the logging occurs in supposedly protected World Heritage sites: Masoala National Park and Marojejy National Park. Being illegally logged most likely means these loggers are not replanting and even if they did it takes rosewood almost 100 years to reach maturity! At this rate of irresponsible stewardship these beautiful trees and lucrative market won't be around for very much longer. It seems obvious that more sustainable practices of logging are need, but between Madagascar's current political and economic struggles this could prove a very difficult endeavor. For more information check out these links:,

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