Briefing Document / Dec. 2, 2009

Corrections to report on Madagascar

It has come to our attention that an arithmetic error on log volumes introduced a series of significant over-estimates in our recent report on illegal logging in Madagascar. This has been corrected and the report has been re-published today.

The error concerned the calculation of estimated log volumes from observations made by the team.

These should have been as follows:

 • An average log of 35cm diameter and 2m length has a volume of 0.19m3 (not 0.57m3 as previously reported regarding observations in the Vohémar port on page 17 of the report). This has implications for the number of logs in a container and the average weight of a log.

• The same miscalculation on page 18 of the report has implications for the estimated number of logs that correlate to the WTO trade figures, but not the total volumes.

• Logs in the range of 25-35cm diameter and 2m length have volumes of 0.10-0.19m3 (not 0.39-0.77m3 as previously reported regarding observations in the forest on page 23 of the report). This has implications for the range of weights for each log.

• Most significantly, the conclusions (page 31) should also be based on a log volume of 0.10-0.19m3. This correction generates an estimate of value of rosewood logs being felled in the areas observed as between US$88,000 and US$460,000 per day. (Not US$800,000 as previously reported).

In addition, the Executive Summary mistakenly stated “200 to 300” instead of “100 to 200” trees as mentioned in the report. Note the figures refer to the area visited by the team, and should not be extrapolated to annual estimates for a year or to other areas in Madagascar.

Limited annual data on Rosewood imports from Madagascar is available from trade statistics obtained from the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China, as follows. Note this does not include exports to other countries, nor unreported exports.





3591 m3

US$ 2,415,816


7921 m3

US$ 4,978,593


55 m3

US$ 79,002


1625 m3

US$ 1,348,558

January to August 2009

4854 m3

US$ 9,740,492

The most recent data, for August 2009, shows the CIF price to be US$3,395 per m3.

Global Witness and EIA apologise for any previous dissemination of the report and press release that contained misleading figures.