Poachers Hunt Down World’s Most Expensive Tree That Can Be Seen in The Philippines
Poachers are on gold rush finding the world’s most expensive tree that can be seen in the heart of the thickest jungle of the Philippines.
“Lapnisan” or “Agarwood” was recorded as the most expensive tree in the world and listed as one of the rarest tree that can only be found in the jungles of Southeast Asia. It is hailed as the most expensive tree because a kilo of agarwood fetches as much as P750,000 and the whole tree is worth tens of millions of pesos.
Based on the article of PEP, Lapnisan or agarwood is a non-timber type of wood that is used for its sap or resin, which is used in the perfume and scents industry. That’s why fragrance manufacturers are willing to spend millions to obtain this tree.
The tree itself is not quite valuable. It is only desired-material when it has become infected with a type of mold, which triggers a defensive reaction from the tree to produce a dark, fragrant substance. The infected tree looks darker and produces a fragrant scent.
This oily substance or resin from infected agarwood is worth more than its weight in gold. Perfumers and incense makers are willing to pay millions of dollars for a liter of this “liquid gold.” In 2013, agarwood trade had a global value of $8 billion.
However, agarwood takes 20 years to become mature and to be ready for harvest. It is hard to cultivate, that’s why it is a very rare species. This kind of tree only grows in areas with a high elevation and cool climate. The tree grows 10 to 12 feet only.
In the Philippines, agarwood can only be found in the heart of the thickest jungles of Mindanao and the Visayas. Foreigners travel to the Philippines and go to remote villages just to find the rare tree.
However, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) says it is illegal to buy, sell, collect, or transport any part of agarwood. The lapnisan tree is under the protection of the government and it is labeled as endangered species.
However, the blanket ban on lapnisan does not prevent poachers and trader from removing them from the jungles. Poachers use social media platforms to sell agarwood.
Traders keep their transactions secret by masquerading agarwood as gadgets, which used gadgets specs to describe the tree. This way, authorities will have a harder time tracking them down.
The scent of agarwood depends on the quality of the raw materials; it produces a variety of fragrances. It has notes of soft flowers, but what makes its woody scent unique is the accents of musk, vanilla, and bright fruits.
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