In Cameroon, the largest exporter of African wood to Asia and Europe, illegal and unregulated logging by foreign companies is posing a real threat to the country's most valuable economic and ecological resource.
"It's a monstrous machine... bulldozers go through our woodland, we feel the effects of the corruption in this country", explains a local. According to Greenpeace, between 15 and 30% of all wood imported into Europe is done so illegally. In Cameroon it is an industry worth 100 million Euros a year. Besides creating a tax shortfall of 80 million Euros, it is also destroying the vast ecological reserves in the nation's forests. "The forestry commission is complicit", discloses Flavian, an investigator into local logging company SBAC; "corruption affects the entire chain". From companies to state officials, the beneficiaries are far removed from those who live near the trees. With just 5% of Cameroon's ancient woodland remaining, the sacrifice of this ecosystem to the forces of globalisation is a tangible, and preventable, global loss.FULL SYNOPSIS