“Yes, yes, yes!” whooped Felix joyfully, “I love it when humans take steps towards conserving the environment!”
“What have they done now?” said Scorch, “Tell us everything!”
“Tha Gambia, a country in West Africa, has banned all timber exports. Exports refer to the goods or services sent to another country for sale,” said Felix, adding, “It has also officially canceled all export licenses.”
“But why?” said Orak.
“To stop illegal logging or cutting down of timber,” answered Felix, “Let me explain. West African Rosewood (Pterocarpus Erinaceus) is also called redwood or Hongmu. It is known for its durability and color, especially for antique furniture. This also means it is one of the most trafficked wildlife products in the world. That is, it is traded illegally all around the world.”
“That sounds bad,” said Scorch with a frown.
“Yeah, it is,” said Felix, “The Gambia is one of the top five exporters of the West African Rosewood. But guess what? About 10 years ago, the country declared its stock to be close to extinction.
In 2020, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) conducted an investigation in the Gambia. It revealed that enormous quantities of Rosewood are shipped out of the Gambia via its neighbor, Senegal. Along the border between the two countries, the BBC found at least 12 depots containing Rosewood.
From the Gambia, it is trafficked to the Casamance region of Southern Senegal. Most of it is then sent to China, where it is used to make furniture.”
“Oh, no,” whispered Verum.
“The West African Rosewood was listed as an endangered species in 2017. A month ago, Cites, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, asked seven countries, including the Gambia, to stop its trade,” said Felix, “So, the ban came into effect immediately. Let’s hope it saves this species!”