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I Do Not Understand the Preservation of Teak


I Do Not Understand the Preservation of Teak


I thing the countries become parties to the agreement and then pass local laws. I think your are correct it is an export tax by the Togo government. It will maintain local supply and keep people happy with cost of living and the tax will support the government. The world wants teak and the government wants in on the deal.


Correct the "government wants in on the deal." Here in Togo there is too much Teak, it will eventually be the only type of tree that is large. The locals cut up tree, make into charcoal, and cook. I am hoping the branches of Teak are adequate, but wood in Togo is a cooking fuel. But, one type of tree, monocropping is not good either.

Bob the Squid

There are multiple species of trees that are called "teak".

"African teak" is the Pericopsis elata species It is on the IUCN Red List for endangered species ( and is listed in CITES Appendix II, meaning that it's not in immediate danger of extinction but could become so.

The teak most everyone thinks of when you say "teak" is Tectona grandis This teak species is the one that is native to Asia but is now cultivated in Africa. It is not considered to be endangered, so you should be able to export it to the USA.


I can buy directly from Togo government controlled plantations. ODEF - Office de Developpement et d Exploitation des Forets. All the explanations appear great, and probably excellent in Canada, or USA, maybe UK, etc. I am hard pressed to see how CITES is doing much more than helping large plantations, and governments to collect bribes. The way bribes work, you create a rule, then pay to go around the rule. This is how 200 plus countries pay their police forces, it is hard to say the police would exist if paid with tax money in 200 countries.

The exporting of Teak in Africa appears to be to India. Yet, I have talked to ODEF, and at first understanding of this government office, it is hard to see a big picture understanding there.

It appears to almost impossible to find "African Teak," or Fake Teak, the Pericopsis elata. and it does seem to be on CITES list of endangered. But, Tectona Grandis so far does not appear to be on the CITES list.

As normal with government rules, I am going to need to ship some Teak to the USA, or Germany and fish out, cull out the rules as the governments, CITES put out their hands to collect money.

What is sad about corruption, yet great for the business man is this, there is always a fee that can be paid, a bribe that can make the rule, law, or problem disappear. This is reality, this is the playing field.

In reality, in Togo every free spot that was decimated 100 years ago by lumber people is now being planted to Teak, so the small families may be planting the rain forest again, maybe they will come back because of the small scale growth of teak, really nothing to do with the plantations, CITES, or governments, just finally small scale growth. Growing trees for 30 to 50 years is not exactly what investors can do. If you look at the use of teak in markets, it appears to be small size boards for outdoor furniture.

If they want long term forests, they need to outlaw lawn furniture. LOL. This is all interesting stuff to study, and the rules, laws make money for me, they do not hurt me. The more rules, laws, the more difficult ,and less competition. I have yet to find anyone in Togo exporting lumber to the USA or Europe.

All the reading in the world does not make reality change.

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