IVORY COAST: 3,000 planks of illegally sawn timber seized in Zandougou

By - Published on / Modified on

IVORY COAST: 3,000 planks of illegally sawn timber seized in Zandougou©Ivorian Ministry of Water and Forests

The Special Surveillance and Intervention Brigade (BSSI) has struck again. On 16 March 2024, it seized more than 3,000 planks of illegally sawn timber in Zandougou, in the sub-division of Diouladjèdougou in Ivory Coast. This is the umpteenth operation by the Ivorian Ministry of Water and Forests' forestry, wildlife and water resources crime unit, which is helping to protect ecosystems in the West African country.

Just when the Ivorian government thought it was seeing a decline in illegal logging, a new offence quickly put all the lights in the red. This time, the fraudsters targeted the town of Zandougou, in the sub-division of Diouladjèdougou, which is home to several classified forests. They sawed more than 3,000 planks of hardwood trees native to “Isoberlinia doka”, a species of plant in the Fabaceae family and the Isoberlinia genus, found in tropical Africa.

“Fortunately, some local people have joined forces with the Ivory Coast Ministry of Water and Forests in the fight against illegal sawmilling, cooperating by providing information to the Special Surveillance and Intervention Brigade (BSSI), the unit responsible for combating forest, wildlife and resource crime throughout the country. It was on the basis of this information that officers from the Morondo BSSI discovered the logs, which were bound for the town of Korhogo”, says the Ivorian Ministry of Water and Forests.

The more than 3,000 logs were immediately seized by officers from the Morondo BSSI, who are currently conducting investigations to establish who is responsible. “It should be noted that this mafia-like practice of destroying our forest heritage is a recurring occurrence in this area (Zandougou)”, deplored the Morondo BSSI officers. Ivory Coast’s Minister of Water and Forests, Laurent Tchagba, has called for the fight against illegal logging to be stepped up in order to protect what remains of the West African country’s forests.

According to the latest National Forest and Wildlife Inventory (IFFN), the country will have 2.97 million hectares of forest cover by March 2021. This is equivalent to 9.2% forest cover, compared with more than 20% in the 1960s. Ivory Coast’s forest cover was estimated at 16 million hectares in 1960. Today, almost 60% of productive land has been degraded. Preserving these forests has therefore become an absolute priority.

Read Also – Ivory Coast: 50% of mangrove forests lost in nearly 30 years

Since the BISS went into service in 2019, its units have seized 7,829 planks, 10,489 boards and 5,470 rafters, the equivalent of around 1,025 m3, representing 350 felled trees and 85 hectares of forest destroyed for a loss of more than 60 million CFA francs, around 91,500 euros. And in 2022, the unit made another record seizure of more than 2,600 planks of wood and 6,700 planks in the Abobo council, north of Abidjan.

Inès Magoum

More on the same theme

More on the same area

We respect your privacy

When you browse on this site, cookies and other technologies collect data to enhance your experience and personalize the content you see. Visit our Privacy Policy to learn more. By clicking "Accept", you agree to this use of cookies and data.

Newsletter AFRIK 21