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Soaring Chinese demand for rosewood spurs largely illicit trade in West Africa

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 - 05:50
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Soaring Chinese demand for rosewood has spurred a largely illicit trade in West Africa worth at least US$1.3 billion since inception, according to advocacy group Forest Trends.

Johannesburg

NO one paid much attention to the gnarled, yellow-blossomed rosewood trees dotted around farmsteads in northern Ivory Coast until Chinese-backed buyers started offering money for the timber.

Fast forward five years and Ivory Coast is looking back at a tumultuous time