This Friday will be celebrated as National Day of the Forest around the world when nations celebrate and bring awareness to issues relating to the world’s forests; but, in Belize, the issue of how prepared we are to protect our valuable rosewood stock is still an issue .
Over the last few days, residents from the Toledo district have been complaining that there is an increase in activity in the cutting and shipping of rosewood out of the district.
These photographs show what appear to be piles of freshly cut rosewood and come from the Trio Village area. ]
The rosewood were seen being loaded on to a container which observers say belong to Edison. B. International Company Limited; a company situated at a Mountain View Blvd. address in Belmopan.
News trickling in is that some of the same players involved in the rosewood scandal of 2012 are once again behind this resurgence.
After public outcry, a moratorium was imposed on the cutting of rosewood. This moratorium has not since been lifted. However, some rosewood that had already been cut at the time of the moratorium, were allowed to be legally exported with cites certification as pre-convention rosewood.
Environmentalists cautioned at the time that it created a loop hole for freshly cut rosewood to be mixed in with the amnesty rosewood. These pictures of freshly cut rosewood, appear to validate the environmentalists concerns. Our preliminary investigations show that there appears to be no evaluation of exactly how much amnesty rosewood was in stock, leaving it open to an almost endless supply of ‘amnesty rosewood”.
The first export permit for amnesty rosewood had been given to the controversial GIV but it was later cancelled and given to Edison International. We were unable to confirm today, but we understand that a long term license for the extraction of rosewood has been given for Maya Mountain north reserve to a Charles Sellers, and we have been told that this was issued after the moratorium.