Cabinet Minister comments on amnesty on Rosewood logging

The first public comment from a Cabinet Minister on the issue of the hastily declared amnesty on rosewood logging came today from John Saldivar, Minister of National Security. According to Saldivar, the Government’s intention is to start afresh on an issue that has become a political liability.

John Saldivar – Minister of National Security:
vlcsnap-2013-04-11-20h23m52s219We’re trying to strike a balance between bringing some finality to this issue.  Yes. there are some Rosewood that have been confiscated.  There’s also  Rosewood out there that have not been confiscated.  We don’t know where they are.  They’re just lying out there, and so we want to make sure that we round up all of the Rosewood, that when we start with a new Rosewood Harvesting Policy, that we’re starting from scratch.

And the Minister also responded to concerns that the policy seems to pardon and condone offenders of the still-in-effect moratorium on logging the precious wood.

John Saldivar – Minister of National Security:
vlcsnap-2013-04-09-20h20m22s203I don’t know that that factored into Cabinet’s decision to come up with this program, that any of the names of the exporters were discussed. This has been done because we feel that this is the best way to conclude this matter, so that the Forestry Department, when it is finished with its stocktaking and comes up with a new Rosewood Harvesting Policy, can start from scratch without having to worry about those Rosewood that were harvested before the new Policy takes place.

Minister of Forestry Lisel Alamilla is due back in the country by Friday from a trip to the Middle East.

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