The high value of Madagascar’s hardwoods, such as rosewood and ebony, render illegal logging a lucrative practice. Whilst there is a decree in place to ban all harvest and export of precious woods, illegal shipments continue. In 2009, this illegal trade came under the spotlight of the US Lacey Act, when Gibson Guitars was prosecuted for importing Malagasy hardwoods (US Department of Justice, 2012).
About 20% of Madagascar’s land is forested, just under a quarter of which is primary forest. The country has experienced a high rate of deforestation over the past few decades; between 1990 and 2015 the average annual rate of deforestation was 0.4%. Nearly 40% of Madagascar’s remaining forests are designated protected areas (FAO, 2015).