A report from C4ADS explains that teak (tectona grandis) is a high-value tropical hardwood used for wood carving, furniture, and shipbuilding. For years, global markets have coveted teak for its durability, beauty, and strength. The teak trade, both licit and illicit, contributes to a variety of issues, including deforestation, environmental degradation, and displacement of wildlife in India, Myanmar, and other teak producing countries. However, the report says that C4ADS has found that millions of dollars-worth of teak is coming from a very unlikely source – South Sudan. South Sudan’s teak reserves are among the largest in Africa – but South Sudanese teak is also being exploited at an unsustainable rate. The report serves as the first comprehensive review of the regulatory and security environment surrounding this little-researched topic. It examines how conditions within South Sudan have made its teak sector more vulnerable to exploitation from illicit actors and contributed to the country’s instability. It includes a case study of a South Sudanese teak company, Lukiza Limited, which has seemingly been involved in teak logging and was beneficially owned by foreign political elites.
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