Sierra Leone freezes timber export

Published: Friday 15 February 2008

In a surprise move, the government of Sierra Leone has suspended the export of timber saying that indiscriminate destruction by Chinese loggers in the country's north is wreaking havoc on its tropical forests and climate.

Uncontrolled logging activities have already triggered soil erosion in the region, causing large-scale displacement of native communities and wildlife, said the president, Ernest Bai Koroma, in a media statement. "The ban will remain in force until we recognize the entire logging industry," he said while suggesting that the government will come out with a new forestry plan by March.

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