Gambia’s government said on Wednesday placed restrictions on the importation of Timber and warned those importing logs into the country may be prosecuted.
Ecologist and former Senegalese Environment Minister Haidar El Ali in May called for international sanctions to be placed on the export of wood from The Gambia.
The Gambia, which is only second to Nigeria in rosewood timber export to China gets most of its logs from Sothern Senegal. Southern Senegal’s Casamance region was at risk of losing almost all of its forest cover in two years.
Illegal timber exports along the border amass more than USD $238 million. Senegal considers the timber illegal traded in The Gambia as ‘conflict timber.’
The low level Casamance crisis makes it all convenient for local traders and Chinese middlemen to carry out the illegal trade without much hindrance. Senegal had previously ceased properties belonging to The Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh, who is involved in the trade.
The Gambia has instructed its customs and border agency not to clear any logs to enter the country.
Timber workers last week called for the protection of environment and if fully enforced will be a win for environmentalists.