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Raise Awareness for the Atrocities Committed by Gibson Guitars

This petition had 133 supporters

The Island of Madagascar has a large and unique selection of animals and plants, many of which are endemic, and extremely endangered. One of these is the Madagascan Rosewood tree, native to the island, and highly in demand for its use in products like musical instruments or furniture.

Illegal Rosewood has become far more common in recent years, since Madagascar’s government has become steadily more corrupt. With 70% of the population living below the poverty line, many people are doing anything to avoid starvation. If a person lives near the rainforest, it is astonishingly easy to cut down a tree, or work dragging them to the river, to be shipped out of the country. This work pays around 15,000 ariary a day, about $5.60, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but is compared to the three quarters of the population surviving on less than 45 cents a day. On the edge of the Masoala rainforest, most villagers work as Rosewood loggers, and the population has grown for 1,200 to around 1,800, mainly immigrants from the coast trying to make money of the new booming trade.

The Rosewood logging is also having a huge effect on the Lemurs that live in the forest. When the loggers spend days in the forest, cutting down habitats, they need food, and often turn to eating the lemurs that dwell in those parts of the rainforest. In fact, lemurs are probably the most endangered species on the planet.

Gibson Guitars, a famous and influential brand has been buying illegally logged Rosewood to make their guitars. $500,000 worth of wood was seized from the company, and it is likely that this is not all the illegal rosewood they had. Gibson boss Henry Juszkiewicz was supported, and accepted support from, throughout this case by the American political party, the Tea Party, a far right organisation, with no care for endangered species or plants. 

Gibson guitars are used by many of the world's most famous and influential  performers such as Bob Marley, Prince and John Lennon, giving Gibson huge branding opportunities. However, the majority of people do not know about the corruption in Gibson, and do not realise they are supporting such an evil organisation.

The case was settled on August 6, 2012, with Gibson admitting to violating the Lacey Act and agreeing to pay a fine of $300,000 in addition to a $50,000 community payment. Gibson also gave up the wood seized in the raids, which was valued at roughly the same amount as the money they had already paid. Despite all this, it seems that Gibson has not been brought to justice. It is a brand that remains just as popular, with not enough potential buyers knowing about their disgusting immorality, and disregard of the world's endangered species.

We would like to spread awareness for the damage Gibson guitars has caused, and persuade more people that their actions should not be forgiven so easily.





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