Advanced

Trees with a heart of gold -identifying first steps to the preservation of Agarwood and Sandalwood

Halcomb, Jakob Stuart LU (2019) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20191
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
For millennia, humans have utilized species of sandalwood and agarwood-producing trees as raw materials in ritual offerings, incense, perfumes, and oils. Agarwood remains in high demand, selling for as much as $30,000 to $100,000 USD per kilo. Sandalwood also brings high prices and has high demand on the market. This has led to the listing of several species of these trees with CITES and the IUCN Red
List. This paper aims to contribute to the overall preservation of both the species and the cultural traditions with which they are associated and therefore adopts an environmental humanities approach.

Preservation requires an awareness of how ecology and culture are intertwined. One cannot be preserved without the other. Through an... (More)
For millennia, humans have utilized species of sandalwood and agarwood-producing trees as raw materials in ritual offerings, incense, perfumes, and oils. Agarwood remains in high demand, selling for as much as $30,000 to $100,000 USD per kilo. Sandalwood also brings high prices and has high demand on the market. This has led to the listing of several species of these trees with CITES and the IUCN Red
List. This paper aims to contribute to the overall preservation of both the species and the cultural traditions with which they are associated and therefore adopts an environmental humanities approach.

Preservation requires an awareness of how ecology and culture are intertwined. One cannot be preserved without the other. Through an exploration of the history and cultural underpinnings of my topic I present the sustainability challenge as more than the misalignment of production and consumption. To identify a possible way forward, I explore three cases of programmes focused on the sustainability of plant-based products, rice, spices, and timber to identify factors that can inform the development of a sustainability programme. I analyse these cases through a pairing of the concepts of salvage accumulation and polyphonic assemblage from Anna Tsing’s multi-species ethnographic work with Arts et al (2013) three models (economic, institutional, bricolage) framework for categorizing governance practices. I situate results from my three cases with findings from other work on plantbased sustainability programmes.

Using the three models framing, I find that the sustainability programmes for plant-based products focus on either an economic rationale for changing behavior or by introducing new institutions and rules. Both approaches have identified short comings which are further validated through my research. My findings suggest that a predominately bricolage approach which incorporates aspects from the other two models shows promise as a way forward for preserving these species and traditions. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Halcomb, Jakob Stuart LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20191
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Agarwood, Sandalwood, Sustainability Science, Bricolage, Polyphonic Assemblage
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2019:034
language
English
id
8981761
date added to LUP
2019-06-11 11:31:50
date last changed
2019-06-11 11:31:50
@misc{8981761,
  abstract     = {For millennia, humans have utilized species of sandalwood and agarwood-producing trees as raw materials in ritual offerings, incense, perfumes, and oils. Agarwood remains in high demand, selling for as much as $30,000 to $100,000 USD per kilo. Sandalwood also brings high prices and has high demand on the market. This has led to the listing of several species of these trees with CITES and the IUCN Red
List. This paper aims to contribute to the overall preservation of both the species and the cultural traditions with which they are associated and therefore adopts an environmental humanities approach.

Preservation requires an awareness of how ecology and culture are intertwined. One cannot be preserved without the other. Through an exploration of the history and cultural underpinnings of my topic I present the sustainability challenge as more than the misalignment of production and consumption. To identify a possible way forward, I explore three cases of programmes focused on the sustainability of plant-based products, rice, spices, and timber to identify factors that can inform the development of a sustainability programme. I analyse these cases through a pairing of the concepts of salvage accumulation and polyphonic assemblage from Anna Tsing’s multi-species ethnographic work with Arts et al (2013) three models (economic, institutional, bricolage) framework for categorizing governance practices. I situate results from my three cases with findings from other work on plantbased sustainability programmes.

Using the three models framing, I find that the sustainability programmes for plant-based products focus on either an economic rationale for changing behavior or by introducing new institutions and rules. Both approaches have identified short comings which are further validated through my research. My findings suggest that a predominately bricolage approach which incorporates aspects from the other two models shows promise as a way forward for preserving these species and traditions.},
  author       = {Halcomb, Jakob Stuart},
  keyword      = {Agarwood,Sandalwood,Sustainability Science,Bricolage,Polyphonic Assemblage},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {Trees with a heart of gold -identifying first steps to the preservation of Agarwood and Sandalwood},
  year         = {2019},
}