The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) has listed rosewood among the wild flora and fauna that are supposed to be protected by authorities worldwide, but logging is said to be threatening the trees with extinction in most parts of Taraba State. Daily Trust on Sunday takes a look at the trend.
Taraba State is one of the largest sources of rosewood in Nigeria, which attracted both native and foreign lumberjacks who eventually contributed to depleting the trees.
The tree is loved and exploited mostly by foreigners for its timber which is used in making plywood and veneers for furniture. Locals also forage traditional medicine from the trees in many forms.
Good quality oriental furniture, especially those produced in China are made from rosewood timber, which is the most expensive wood in the furniture industry nowadays.
Chinese loggers in their numbers have trooped to Taraba State and allegedly contributed to harvesting most of the rosewood trees found in the forests of a number of local government areas. Foreigners are said to be working with locals who know the terrain in depleting the trees in places they are widely distributed.
The trend has continued for many years due to the high demand for rosewood timber by the Asian factories, leading to massive deforestation.
Meanwhile, environmentalists have warned that deforestation can lead to soil erosion, climate change, and flooding, thereby causing problems for the locals.