The company cutting down protected trees in the Zambezi region to pave the way for a Green Scheme project was not given the green light by the environment ministry to clear that particular portion of the farm. Although the environment ministry’s spokesperson, Romeo Muyunda, confirmed that a clearance certificate was awarded, he said that was for a portion of the farm where there are no trees…Full Article: AllAfrica July 2017

Key Point

  • According to a Namibian agriculture representative, the tender to clear the land was originally issued through to MK Capital JV Okatambo Investment CC, though China’s New Force Logistics was carrying out work on the site. New Force Logistics, owned by Chinese businessman Hou Xuecheng, reportedly has an agreement with Namibia’s Ministry of Agriculture ministry to purchase the timber (i.e. mature African rosewood) at ND 200 (~USD 15.45) per piece.

ChinaAg Comments

  • Hou Xuecheng, the owner of New Force Logistics, reportedly leads a timber smuggling operation in Africa. Timber is supposedly harvested in Angola, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and exported to China from Walvis Bay, Namibia. In August 2014, Hou Xuecheng faced charges in Namibia of illegally possessing elephant tusks and animal skins.
  • In 2014, there were numerous press reports of illegal Chinese logging in neighboring Mozambique, as well illegal logging of Siamese rosewood in the Mekong region (i.e. Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand). From the Mekong region alone, China had imported an estimated US$2.4 billion worth of Siamese rosewood from the Mekong area (i.e. Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand) since 2000. In Africa, Chinese companies were particularly interested in purchasing rosewood timber (destined for mainland furniture manufacturers) in Western Province, Zambia.

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