agarwood gaharu.pdf

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This report was initiated and supervised by James Compton who played a key role in facilitating and
coordinating research during his tenure as Director of TRAFFIC Southeast Asia. The authors also wish to
acknowledge the contributions and guidance of Azrina Abdullah, Chris Shepherd and William Schaedla
who served or acted as directors and Elizabeth John, senior communication officer of TRAFFIC Southeast
Asia during the production of this report.
Much of the research and field work for this report was supported by the team at Resource Stewardship
Consultants Sdn Bhd (RESCU), including Cindy Chen, Lim Tze Tshen, Noor Azura Ahmad and Shahril
During the research for this report, liaison was maintained with Malaysia's Federal Ministry of Natural
Resources and Environment (Datuk Aziyah Mohamed and the late Sivalingam Pillay) as well as the
Malaysian Timber Industry Board (the late Ismail Ibrahim and Nurchahaya Hashim); much assistance was
provided by the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) (Woon Weng Chuen, Lim Hin Fui, Lilian Chua,
Chang Yu Shyun and Nor Azah Mohd. Ali) and the Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia headquarters
(Tuan Marina bt Tuan Ibrahim); field research was assisted by the State Forestry Departments of Kelantan
(Dato’ Hj. Dahlan Hj. Taha) and Sabah (Datuk Sam Mannan), as well as the Maliau Basin Conservation
Area unit of Yayasan Sabah; herbarium access and procedural overviews were provided by the Sarawak
Forestry Corporation (Sani Bakar, Dawend Jiwan and Lucy Chong) as well as the Forest Research Centre
of Sabah Forestry Department (Robert Ong).
Numerous gaharu collectors, traders and processors in Kelantan, Sabah and Sarawak were kind enough to
agree to be interviewed for this study; similarly, retailers and exporters based in Bukit Bintang, Kuala
Lumpur were remarkably helpful and hospitable. Insights were shared from numerous individuals
connected with non-governmental organisations, particularly the Centre for Orang Asli Concerns (Colin
Nicholas), Wildlife Conservation Society (Melvin Gumal and June Rubis) and WWF-Malaysia (Surin
Suksuwan and Junaidi Payne). Assistance in reportage and facilitation of the National Workshop was
provided by WildAsia (Reza Azmi).
The following individuals also provided helpful input and feedback of various kinds: Ani Mardiastuti,
Chen Hin Keong, Chong Chin Fah, Eric Hansen, Harban Singh, Henry Heuveling van Beek, Hilary Chiew,
Ismail Mydin, Loo Kean Seong, Masako Ohdoi, Misliah Mohamad Basir, Mohamad Shukry Abdul Hamid,
Robert Blanchette, Roy Goh, Sabri Zain, Salahudin Yaacob, Sylvia Yorath, Tony Soehartono and Wong
Meng Chuo.
Thanks are also due to John Caldwell at UNEP-WCMC for his continuous updates of the CITES trade data
set pertaining to Agarwood trade. James Compton and Tong Pei Sin are thanked for their peer review of
earlier drafts of this report, as well as Steven Broad, Richard Thomas and Julie Gray at TRAFFIC
International for their guidance in preparing the final document.
The authors would also like to thank the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Global Opportunities
Fund (via the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur), and the US Department of State’s Bureau of
Oceans Environment and Science (OES), for the matching funds to support the work on agarwood trade in
Malaysia and South-east Asia. This report was commissioned by the CITES Secretariat (under CITES
Project S-252).
Wood for the trees : A review of the agarwood (gaharu) trade in Malaysia