Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme


August 30, 2016

Gaharu or Eaglewood is a well-known source of high-quality incense. The Chinese describe it as a “nice, profound yet balanced” fragrance.

It is formed when damaged Aquilaria trees produce a fragrant protective resin that gradually hardens and turns into black lumps.

Due to its high price in the market (at least US$2000/kg), the substance is sought out by many. Systematic hunting for the species starts from Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua New Guinea. The high market pressure has led to uncontrolled, destructive and unsustainable exploitation of the species, threatening its existence.
The film describes a unique sustainable harvesting system as practised by the Punan of Malinau, East Kalimantan. It also looks into how gaharu is used in reforestation.

Produced by Telapak and the NTFP-EP (2006). Copies (DVD or VCD) can be obtained by July through Ridzki Sigit, Telapak, Jl. Palem Putri III No. 1-3, Komp. Taman Yasmin Sektor V, Bogor, West Java, Indonesia. Tel: +62 0251 7159902. Email: URL: