Rebels without a cause? Rosewood and insurgency in Senegal with Dr Martin Evans

A man cutting rosewood
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Thursday 21 September 2023

02:00 PM - 03:00 PM


Hybrid - Online and in the Redlands Building



Event details


Illegal cutting of rosewood (Pterocarpus erinaceus) in Casamance, Senegal, and its trafficking into The Gambia for export have attracted considerable attention in recent years. Media exposés and international NGOs have advocated better governance of a trade that threatens a protected tree species, causes wider negative environmental impacts, harms rural livelihoods and creates social tensions.

A further, security-related concern is that rosewood provides revenues for the Mouvement des forces démocratiques de la Casamance, an armed non-state group that has fought for Casamance independence for over 40 years, prompting increasingly militarised responses to the trade from the Senegalese government. However, combatants on both sides, with other local actors, have long profited from illegal timber.

The seminar discusses recent dynamics and their historical, political and biogeographical contexts.


Dr Martin Evans joined CAWR as an Honorary Research Fellow in 2020 after 11 years lecturing in Development Studies at the University of Chester. He originally gained a BSc in Botany at the University of Bristol and, after a decade working mostly in the environmental sector, an MA in Environment and Development at SOAS and a PhD in Geography, again mostly at SOAS but completed at King’s College London.

Following a postdoc at the University of Leicester, he moved to Chester in 2009. He has researched socio-economic and political aspects of conflict and ‘post- conflict’ reconstruction for over two decades, focusing on the separatist rebellion in Casamance, Senegal. His current interests there concern agroecological change and natural resource management in a context of social change and ongoing insecurity.