AGARWOOD IN ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE
To highlight the threat to Agarwood Aquilaria from illegal wildlife trade, TRAFFIC and WWF-India have released a new factsheet.
Agarwood is the common name for the resinous aromatic resin formed in the heartwood of the genera Aquilaria trees. Of the 21 known Aquilaria species found across the globe, about 13 are known to generate the resin in agarwood in response to injury and infection by a specific fungus. India is home to three species, of which, Aquilaria khasiana and Aquilaria malaccensis are agarwood-producing species.
The Export-Import (EXIM) Policy of India, restricts the trade of agarwood due to its listing in Appendix II of CITES. Any violations of the EXIM policy make the goods liable for confiscation and the individual(s) liable to punishment under India’s Customs Act, 1962. After the amendment to the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 in December 2022, Red Sanders has been listed in Schedule IV. Despite the regulations, the species has suffered adversely due to unsustainable harvest and illegal trade.
“Agarwood is among the world’s most commercially valuable plant species. The species is exploited for its valuable aromatic heartwood, a source of agar oil also known as ‘oudh/agaru’ , the most preferred raw materials in perfumery and traditional medicines. Agarwood has been overexploited throughout its range for its fragrant heartwood, threatening its population. It continues to be traded in significant quantities to and from India.” adds Dr Merwyn Fernandes, Coordinator, TRAFFIC’s India Office.
The newly released communique by TRAFFIC and WWF-India titled “AGARWOOD: Factsheet on India’s Agarwood in illegal wildlife trade” provides information about the species, interesting facts, legal status and threats from the illegal wildlife trade. It will be helpful for educators, policymakers, researchers, media personnel, and the general public who want to learn about the conservation of agarwood in India.
Download “AGARWOOD: Factsheet on India’s Agarwood in illegal wildlife trade” here.
For more information, please contact Dilpreet B. Chhabra at 9899000472 or write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org