Zambia, 20 th April 2017 — In an encouraging move for East African forestry management and timber trade, the Zambian government has announced a ban on all “ In Transit ” timber within the country. The declaration, passed today, takes place effective immediately until further notice.
17 species of timber have been specified within the official Statutory Instrument, with the most notable inclusions pertaining to Pterocarpus chrysothrix (mukula)—a threatened species most commonly sourced in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The decision addresses ongoing international concerns that the country is being exploited by smuggling networks to transport timber to lucrative markets overseas, with primary destinations including China and Viet Nam.
Additional motivations for the ban include issues raised by the Namibian Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry. Namibia ’ s Chief Agricultural Scientific Officer said in a written letter to plant health officials that the country had been “ experiencing serious problems with timber transported from the DRC and neighbouring countries via Zambia. ”