H.Res. 839: Condemning the illegal extraction of Madagascar's natural resources

H.Res. 839

Condemning the illegal extraction of Madagascar's natural resources

Sponsor
Rep. Earl Blumenauer

Date
November 3, 2009 (111th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

H.Res. 839 is expected to be considered under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority for passage. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) on October 15, 2009.

Bill Summary

H.Res. 839 resolves that the House of Representatives:

•  "Calls on people of Madagascar to immediately undertake a democratic, consensual process to restore constitutional governance, culminating in free, fair and peaceful elections;

•  "Strongly condemns the illegal extraction of Madagascar's natural resources and its impact on biodiversity and livelihoods of rural communities, including illegal logging, smuggling of wild species, and illegal mining;

•  "Supports action by competent authorities and the people of Madagascar to stop this illegal devastation and bring those perpetrating these crimes to justice;

•  "Calls upon importing countries to intensify their inspection and monitoring processes to ensure that they do not contribute to the demand for illegally sourced precious woods from Madagascar; and

•  "Calls upon consumers of rosewood and ebony products to check their origin, and boycott those made of Malagasy wood, until constitutional order is restored."

 

Background

According to the resolution's findings, Madagascar is the world's fourth largest island, and home to up to 150,000 species of unique flora and fauna. The country's natural resources provide benefits and services for the basic needs of the majority of Madagascar's people, three-quarters of whom live in rural areas. The resources also provide economic development in the tourism sector. The Obama Administration has condemned Marc Ravalomanana's forced resignation as President of the Republic of Madagascar, and Andry Rajoelina's installation as the de facto head of state in March 2009. In October 2009, environmental organizations condemned an order issued by the current administration in Madagascar which granted sweeping authorization to export raw and semi-processed hard wood.