September 3, 2009
We often read and hear about “premium” Madagascar Rosewood tonewood being substituted for Brazilian Rosewood.
We looked into purchasing Madagascar Rosewood, however, we decided against it – primarily for ethical reasons.
A few words came to mind after our research: Civil war, armed gangs, organized crime, poverty, illegal logging from the natural reserves.
Madagascar Rosewood is as beautiful as Brazilian Rosewood; we have personally seen the samples and talked to people who are selling it. There is no doubt that Madagascar Rosewood will make a beautiful guitar at a lower cost.
From a strictly-business point of view, we would like to expand our tonewood offerings and could easily purchase Madagascar Rosewood safely from third-party brokers – even avoiding vicious gun-toting gangs. Recently, many such brokers have appeared, and are offering this wood as an “environmentally sound alternative” in the market. However, we despise the fact that this “premium” grade Madagascar Rosewood most likely came from Marojejy and Masoala National Parks, two beautiful national parks, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These parks have been under siege in recent months, and we suspect that the high end “premium” grade lumber comes from beautiful living trees – cut down illegally by armed thugs.
We decided not to purchase or wholesale Madagascar Rosewood until we could find a morally responsible method.
In the future, we hope to find a way to import this wood using morally and environmentally culpable methods. But not now, not next month, not even next year…
News excerpts about illegal logging of Madagascar Rosewood:
World Heritage Rainforests in Madagascar threatened by illegal logging and trafficking of precious wood
The illegal removal of Madagascar Rosewood out of northeastern Madagascar continues unabated…
National Geographic report:
‘Civil war looms’ in Madagascar