Madagascar’s government is to reinstate a rosewood export ban in response to continued pressure from environmental groups about concerns over illegal logging in the country.

But NGOs Global Witness and the Environmental Investigation Agency have expressed concern that the new ban needed to be enforced strictly.

“This is not the first time that the Malagasy authorities have banned export of precious timber, and we know from experience that official decrees are often not enforced,” said Reiner Tegtmeyer.

The new decree prohibits all exports of rosewood and precious timber for 2-5 years. Uncertainty remains about the 10,000-15,000 metric tons of rosewood which the groups say have already been illegally felled and awaiting export.