Weak forest governance and corruptionÂ in MozambiqueÂ are facilitating illegal logging and timber smuggling to China, costing the fourth least developed country in the world tens of millions in lost taxesÂ annually, according to a report by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA).
The report, based on research and undercover operations in both countries, claims to expose what the organisation calls "massive discrepancies" in import/export data between Mozambique and China, indicating that half the timber flowing into China is illegal.
EIA forests campaigner Chris Moye said: "Despite recent commendable efforts by the Mozambican government to control the illegal trade in timber to China, our investigation uncovers how high-level politicians, in league with unscrupulous Chinese traders, continue to not only breach Mozambique’s export and forest laws but are now putting pressure on the sustainable yield of Mozambique’s forests."
EIA says the Public Prosecutor in Mozambique has announced an investigation as a result of the report.
The poor African nation is losing millions, says EIA (Credit: EIA)