Pieces of agarwood ready for sale © Agarwood for Life / CC Generic 2.0

wood for the treesa review of the agarwood trade in Malaysia

Pieces of agarwood ready for sale © Agarwood for Life / CC Generic 2.0


Published 20 October 2010


Future of ancient trade in aromatic wood uncertain

Nagoya, Japan, 20th October 2010—Rising demand for agarwood, problems in monitoring harvests and a persistent illegal trade threaten the future of the highly prized fragrant wood says a report launched today by TRAFFIC. 

Wood for the Trees: A Review of the Agarwood Trade in Malaysia

Report author(s):
Lim Teck Wyn, Noorainie Awang Anak

Publication date:
October 2010


Agarwood is the common name for the dark aromatic deposits produced in the heartwood of Aquilaria trees (large evergreens native to several countries from north-east India eastwards through south-east Asia and southern China) in response to wounding or penetration of the tree and infection by a mould. This valuable product is known by a variety of names including Gaharu in Malaysia and Indonesia, Oudh in the Middle East, and as eaglewood and aloeswood. 

The reports on agarwood trade in Malaysia and the UAE were commissioned by the CITES Secretariat, and supported by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the US Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science. WWF-UAE and the Emirates Wildlife Society are also thanked for their support in the United Arab Emirates.

Recommendations for law enforcement efforts by the Experts Group Meeting on Agarwood