Rewilding the Anthropocene

Work Package 9

The Rosewood Assemblage

Work Package 9

The Rosewood Assemblage

The Rosewood Assemblage points in a different direction. Rosewood (Pterocarpus tinctorius) is present in the KAZA TFCA and formally well protected, as it is of immense value on Eastern Asian markets. A recent newspaper article suggested that logging companies paid about $23 per metric ton to local chiefs to be sold for upwards of $1,100 US in China or Vietnam, where precious furniture is made from the fragrant rosewood. The Namibian University for Science and Technology recently alleged in a study that up to 60,000 trees were felled, most of them illegally. A recent report by the CIFOR on the rosewood trade between Zambia and China also found that some farmers extract timber from forests near their villages until they become completely depleted. The rosewood assemblage consists of East Asian consumers, logging teams often headed by East Asians, transporters, border and harbour officials, local communities protecting the tree, traditional authorities allegedly selling them, and local scouts tracing the trees’ whereabouts. Work package 9 will address the following questions:
 
  1. What views do local actors (farmers, foresters) have on rosewood stands in local forests? What are the local socio-ecological effects of removing this precious tree from its surrounding?

  2. Who harvests rosewood and who trades it? Who is engaged in the rosewood value chain? Where does this value change extend geographically?

  3. How do efforts to protect rosewood affect the value chain?
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