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70 nabbed for possession of agarwood

PETALING JAYA: Seventy people have been caught possessing agarwood or gaharu in 13 operations since 2013.

Natural Resources and Environ­ment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, however, disagreed that enforcement was lax in addressing the dwindling number of karas trees.

The Forestry Department, he said, carried out 2,349 patrols in jungles this year alone.

While the number of karas trees had shrunk, he said there was still “an abundance” of karas trees in uncharted forests that had yet to be surveyed.

“The fact that it is under Appendix 2 of the CITES Regulation, the species is endangered. It is a long way from being listed under Appendix 1 which will indicate critically endangered status,” Wan Junaidi said in an e-mail response.

Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam Malaysia president Puan Sri Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil said the problem was due to poor enforcement.

“The number is still small but we need to reduce or stop completely on the felling of agarwood. Forestry and Perhilitan should start conducting joint operations as illegal loggers are also poaching wild animals,” she said.

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Orang asli harvest gaharu in a sustainable manner

karas , agarwood , trade