Leaks and Reports


Illegal timber cutting of Mulanje Cedar, Malawi

SUBJECT: Illegal timber cutting of Mulanje Cedar (Widdringtonia whytei) in Malawi

SOURCE: Known by email


COLLECTION DATE: February 26, 2014

ACTION: Shared with another NGO

TEXT (sanitized):

“My name is (OMITTED) and I am currently (OMITTED) on Mount Mulanje. Mulanje Cedar (Widdringtonia whytei) is a an edemic species and has been illegally harvested for years. It is also one of the few existing African conifers and has been recognized by the IUCN. I have seen this species being illegally harvested on top of the mountain and have also seen it being transported down the mountain through the village that I live in. Corruption is rampant in Malawi and I am positive that all of the “forest guards” who are supposed to be protecting the Cedar are taking bribes to allow the illegal trade to keep flowing. (OMITTED) but people are scared to talk about it because it can almost be equated to illegal drug trafficing. People know that its going on all of the time but don’t want to get involved in fear of retaliation. (OMITTED) in trying to stop this problem before all of the Cedar is gone. I would love to hear your expertise on this subject becasue I feel like I am running out of ideas. The main issue is trying to find out who exactly is running the illegal trade and where the majority of the timber is being sold. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,


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