The Gambia bans timber exports after smuggling fears

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
File image. (Photo by Jan Sochor/Getty Images)
File image. (Photo by Jan Sochor/Getty Images)

The Gambia on Friday suspended all timber exports, following reports the West African state is serving as a transit point for the illegal smuggling of endangered rosewood.

"All existing permits issued for the export/re-export of timber are permanently revoked," the information ministry said in a statement, instructing port authorities to prevent any logs from being loaded onto ships.

"The export/re-export or import of Pterecarpus erinaceus is banned," it added of endangered African rosewood used for woodworking and protected under CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

There was no official explanation for the ban, but it comes after reports of contraband timber passing through the country, mostly after being logged illegally in neighbouring Senegal's Casamance region.

ALSO READ | Gambian government says it will prosecute exiled ex-ruler Jammeh

The Environmental Investigation Agency, a non-governmental organisation, said in a report in 2020 that The Gambia has served as a transit point for an estimated 1.6 million rosewood trees since 2012.

Citing interviews with traffickers, the report added that rosewood smuggling "rapidly exploded" in 2012 due to strong demand in China.

French shipping giant CMA CGM said in 2020 it would suspend all timber exports from The Gambia due to suspicions it had unwittingly shipped undeclared rosewood.

Casamance is separated geographically from the rest of Senegal by the Gambia River, around which lies the tiny state of The Gambia.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
11% - 2612 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
51% - 12691 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
35% - 8555 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 850 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.01
-0.8%
Rand - Pound
20.11
+0.1%
Rand - Euro
17.08
-0.4%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.69
-0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.1%
Gold
1,746.79
-0.7%
Silver
19.06
-2.5%
Palladium
2,128.63
-1.4%
Platinum
898.50
-1.7%
Brent-ruolie
96.59
+3.0%
Top 40
62,974
-1.9%
All Share
69,719
-1.9%
Resource 10
62,153
-2.8%
Industrial 25
86,103
-0.9%
Financial 15
15,698
-3.2%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE