Malagasy conservationists lose bid to stop illegal loggingBy RIVONALA RAZAFISON in Antananarivo | Friday, November 18 2011 at 18:29
Malagasy’s Supreme Court has dismissed a case filed by a conservation group against the transitional government over illegal logging.
The Alliance Voahary Gasy, which is an umbrella body of 27 conservation groups, estimated that about $220 million was lost due to illegal logging from September 2009 to March 2010.
In 2009, the government issued a temporary decree legalising the export of certain stock of precious wood, which favoured the timber barons at the expense of the environment.
Conservationists condemned this directive and requested the Supreme Court to reverse the government’s decision.
The court finally delivered its ruling on November 16 saying the conservationists' request lacked evidence since the government had stopped illegal timber trade last year.
Without the court’s backing, the lobbyists’ efforts to stop forest destruction seem to have hit a dead end, thus will undermine decades of environmental conservation work.
The environmentalists have always pointed out that lack of good governance and corruption within the transitional government contributed to illegal precious wood logging in the country.
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