An update can be found here. One of the more disturbing items is this:
We have also recently discovered that large-scale, organized bushmeat hunting is being conducted in old-growth rainforests near and within the newly protected area of Makira. Under the control of an individual who claims huge tracts of rainforest as his own, every type of lemur in the area–including indris and the highly endangered silky sifaka–are hunted down by packs of trained dogs and killed. The meat is smoked on site and sold throughout the region–even as far away as the nation’s capital city, Antananarivo.
Apparently the wood being cut down in these areas is being sold to China, and of course the people actually doing the hard work are being ruthlessly exploited:
Villagers participating in the logging risk their lives and are exploited shamelessly by the mafia. Villagers receive as little as US$2.50 (2€) per day to drag logs miles out of the jungle–logs weighing an average of 200 kg each, with some weighing more than a ton. In Antalaha, Sambava or Vohémar, these same logs have fetched up to US$11 (8.50€) per kg for the local mafia and foreign profiteers (primarily from China).
Filed under: Current Events