News: are your chops, chopping protected rain forest?

Western musicians delight in the world's best and most exotic guitars, but it is claimed Chinese-made instruments are fuelling an illegal trade in rare timber.

Environment watchdog Global Witness says rare and sought after timbers, such as ebony and rosewood, are being cut down in the forests of Madagascar and exported to Chinese guitar factories.

Some companies, however, are promoting their use of sustainable timbers for guitars...

International guitar makers received a wake-up call in November last year, when US authorities raided the Nashville factory of Gibson guitars on suspicion they were using illegally sourced timber from Madagascar.

Embarrassingly, the raid prompted Gibson's chairman to take leave of absence from the board of Rainforest Alliance, which certifies environmentally friendly products. full article