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The Socio-Economic Context of Illegal Logging and Trade of Rosewood Along the Cambodian-Lao Border

By Dr. Sarinda Singh
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Siamese Rovsewood (Dalbergia cochinensis) has recently been listed on Appendix II of The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). This listing means that source countries are legally required
to export only controlled quantities of rosewood with close monitoring and documentation, which is intended to ensure that the international trade is not detrimental to the survival of this species.
This briefing note outlines the socio-economic context of illegal cross-border rosewood logging in the Cambodian–Lao border region, identifying the main factors that prompt local involvement in this activity, as well as broader implications for forest governance in both countries. The analysis draws upon two data sources:
(i) four months of fieldwork in 2009 in a Cambodian village (‘Sekong Village’) in the border district of Siem Pang, Stung Treng Province, where rosewood logging has been common; and (ii) literature review and media monitoring through to early 2013 relating to rosewood logging in the region.