Sandalwood Industry To Be Protected With Reduced Harvest Quotas

Sandalwood Industry To Be Protected With Reduced Harvest Quotas

Western Australia Minister for Environment Albert Jacob

Reduced Sandalwood Harvest Protects Valuable Tree

Victor P Taffa

  • New quota for wild sandalwood will be 17 % lower
  • Supports industry transition to plantation-grown native sandalwood

A reduction in Western Australia’s annual harvest quota of wild sandalwood is set to improve conservation and management outcomes for the sought-after native tree.

Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the wild sandalwood quota would fall from 3,000 tonnes to 2,500 tonnes per year from July 1, 2016.

“This follows a recommendation from the Legislative Council Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs and a review by an expert panel that the quota be reduced.” Mr. Jacob said.

“The new harvest level requires that a maximum of 50 %, or 1,250 tonnes each year, be green or living sandalwood and includes all parts of the tree except leaves, bark and very small branches to maximise what is used.”

“Sandalwood is highly valued for its wood and aromatic oils so it is essential that we manage this wild resource in a sustainable way as the industry transitions to sandalwood that is mostly grown in plantations.”

The Minister said the amendment to the sandalwood harvest quota the first since 1996 was one of a number of State Government reforms to wild sandalwood management.

“There will be much higher penalties for illegally harvesting wild sandalwood under the new Biodiversity Conservation Bill, which is before State Parliament.” Mr. Jacob said.

“The new legislation will replace the outdated Sandalwood Act 1929 and raise the $200 penalty to $200,000 for individuals and $1 Million for corporations.”

The new wild sandalwood harvest quota applies for 10 years until December 31, 2026.

Fact File

  • Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) is a slow-growing native tree of the semi-arid areas of Western Australia
  • The wood and its oils are particularly sought after in Asian markets
  • The WA sandalwood industry has been operating since 1844