WCS welcomes Madagascar’s new commitment to halt the trafficking of rosewood species, as the country’s representatives announced at the CITES CoP18 this week.

Said Janice Weatherley-Singh, director of EU strategic relations for WCS-EU:

“The trafficking of rosewood has threatened the unique and highly valuable biodiversity of Madagascar’s forests and has undermined governance within the country for far too long.

“In particular, WCS commends Madagascar for announcing that they are no longer seeking permission from CITES for an international sale of seized stocks of rosewood. Allowing even just a one-off international sale of such a highly prized wood would provide an opportunity for increased illegal trade.

“In addition to the statement from Madagascar we welcome the decision adopted today in the CITES CoP18 plenary directing Madagascar to pursue more effective solutions to rosewood trafficking, such as securing existing stockpiles and bringing them under government control and to prosecuting offenders.

“The challenge is still huge and Madagascar cannot solve the rosewood trafficking crisis in isolation. The international trade suspension needs to be kept in place. Other countries also need to be ready to refuse imports of illegal stocks and provide financial support, as also stated in today’s decision.

“We hope the decision adopted today in CITES CoP18 will indeed prove to be a pivotal moment in finally addressing the trafficking of rosewood.

“WCS works alongside government and local communities to ensure the long-term conservation of Madagascar’s unique biological diversity with a focus on activities in our priority landscape/seascapes in the northeast of Madagascar with interventions in and around Masoala National Park, Antongil Bay, and Makira Natural Park where WCS is the delegated park manager. In addition, WCS works in the southwest and northwest of the country to support a network of locally managed marine areas, environmental education and community engagement, as well as research and conservation of marine mammals.” 



WCS is a strong supporter of CITES, has staff who have attended all meetings of the Conference of the Parties since CoP7 in 1989, and will be represented by many international wildlife and policy experts at the 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP18) in Geneva, Switzerland. WCS views on the proposals to amend the Appendices are based on the CITES listing criteria, the best available scientific and technical information, and information from our field and country programs around the world. To learn more about WCS recommendations go HERE. WCS’s ‘on-the-ground’ presence across much of the globe enables it to address multiple aspects of wildlife exploitation and trade, including wildlife crime, at all points along the trade chain in source, transit and consumer countries.