Costa Rica forms environmental-security panel

Costa Rica

At first glance, the lawn of the ranger station at Costa Rica’s Santa Rosa National Park could be mistaken for a lumberyard. Stacks of dark brown logs and sawn wood sit in messy piles and in the beds of rusted pickup trucks. Old and rotted, the cocobolo wood doesn’t look like much now; but when freshly sawn, it could have fetched thousands of dollars on the black market. Cocobolo trees are prized by woodworkers and furniture makers for the dark hue and density of their wood, but powerful demand has driven them close to extinction in Costa Rica. Though on the verge of disappearing, the wood continues to be harvested illegally—and, increasingly, in systematic fashion. Using a network of informants, illegal loggers locate and... [Log in to read more]

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