One of west Africa’s most exploited tree species could be given additional emergency protection to reduce the threat of extinction. Pterocarpus erinaceus, also known as kosso or barwood, is found in west and central Africa. It’s used for woodworking, medicine, fuel and animal feed and is protected under CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. The 16 member states of CITES where the tree species is known to grow, have one month to respond before the emergency measures come into force preventing all international trade.
Pterocarpus erinaceus is listed in Appendix II of CITES, which means its international trade is strictly controlled to prevent it becoming a threat to its survival. Recent studies have shown that illegal harvesting and trade have further reduced numbers of the trees in the wild and this triggered the extra measures.
Unless there are any objections, a complete trade suspension will come into force on the 27th of April to ensure the sustainability and viability of the remaining trees. In the meantime, all states that import Pterocarpus erinaceus are being urged to reject any export permits for shipments arriving at their borders and stop any further trade in this species.