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Saving Gambia’s Endangered Species

One of the world’s largest shipping lines has announced a moratorium on the transport of any wood from The Gambia. A BBC Africa Eye investigation revealed in March that vast quantities of protected West African Rosewood was being trafficked through the country. Most of it ends up in China, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) found. Gambian authorities have previously denied any involvement in the smuggling. Rosewood is a family of tropical tree species widely used for furniture in Asia and in particular China. By value and by volume, rosewood is the most trafficked wildlife product in the world. In June, the EIA published a report saying shipping companies were transporting contraband timber from The Gambia to China. Three months previously, Africa Eye published an investigation into the million-dollar trade in trafficked rosewood. Shipping company Compagnie Maritime d’Affrètement Compagnie Générale Maritime (CMA CGM), the world’s fourth largest, said that it had done its own investigations as a result of the evidence uncovered by the BBC and EIA.