Facilitating Agricultural Commodity Trade

The European Union-funded Facilitating Agricultural Commodity Trade (FACT) pilot project aims to support commercial ventures and producer groups in becoming export-oriented, market-driven enterprises that will consistently supply overseas markets with competitive agricultural and forestry products. The project is implemented by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in Suva, Fiji and started in May 2008.

FACT Project supports regional sandalwood activities
Thursday, 30 August 2012 00:00

Sandalwood, an important forestry resource and export commodity for the Pacific region, is receiving support for a number of activities under a European Union-funded trade project implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

The Facilitating Agricultural Commodity Trade (FACT) Project, which works to increase agricultural and forestry exports from 14 Pacific members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, is helping to develop a regulatory system for the sustainable sandalwood harvests in Tonga; supporting the 2012 International Sandalwood Symposium in Hawaii in October; and will shortly publish a 2010 workshop proceedings: Sandalwood Resource Development, Research and Trade in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Regulatory system for sustainable sandalwood harvests in Tonga

Two of SPC’s Land Resources Division teams — Forest and Trees and Forest and Agriculture Diversification — with assistance from the FACT Project and the Tasmania Forest Practices Authority, are working with the Tongan Division of Forests to develop a regulatory system for the sustainable harvesting of sandalwood in Tonga.

Tonga’s land allocation system is ideally suited to the growing of high value sandalwood in woodlots and under agroforestry regimes on family allotments. Sandalwood was previously widespread throughout Tonga but trees  larger than ten centimetres diameter at breast height over bark are now very scarce.

Unauthorised and unregulated cutting of sandalwood is presently the major threat to the development of a sustainable sandalwood industry in the country. This project aims to develop a regulatory system that will control harvesting and encourage the planting of sandalwood, so that the resource can be expanded and managed on a sustainable basis to provide ongoing economic benefits to landowners. The introduction of a successful regulatory system in Tonga will potentially serve as a model for other Pacific Island countries that face similar challenges.

International Sandalwood Symposium 2012

From 21 to 24 October, an international sandalwood symposium will take place at the University of Hawai’i’s Manoa Campus in Honolulu.

It is designed to bring together a diverse  group of international participants — from the world’s leading experts to students, landowners, land managers, business people and the general public — who are all interested in some aspect of sandalwood, including scientific research, conservation, ethnobotany and commercialisation.

There will be a variety of ways to participate in the meeting: field trips, public lectures, workshops, presentations, and poster and discussion sessions. SPC, through the FACT Project, will be providing support to this symposium and presenting the results of its work on promoting responsible and sustainable trade in sandalwood in the Pacific region.  

For more information, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it '; document.write( '' ); document.write( addy_text15794 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Proceedings from resource development workshop published

A regional workshop on sandalwood resource development, research and trade in the Asia-Pacific and Asian region was organised by the Forest and Trees and Forest and Agriculture Diversification teams in the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in collaboration with the Department of Forests of Vanuatu,  the  German Technical Cooperation Agency (GIZ), the Asia Pacific Association of Forestry Research Institutions (APAFRI), and James Cook University of Australia in Vanuatu in November 2010.

The workshop’s objectives were to:

  • exchange information on sandalwood resource development, research and trade in the Pacific Islands and Asia;
  • strengthen and explore opportunities for collaboration in the countries and territories of the Pacific Islands and Asia;
  • discuss and review developments in production and uses for sandalwood oil and santalols; a liquid extracted from the oil and used in perfumes.
  • develop recommendations for future directions to ensure sustainability of sandalwood as a vital economic resource.


Representatives from Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu presented country reports providing details of present activities aimed at conservation and sustainable development of sandalwood. Technical presentations highlighting the latest developments on sandalwood resource development, research and markets/trade were given by resource persons in the region representing government and private sectors.

In its final session, the workshop delegates unanimously agreed that sandalwood has a unique potential to continue to contribute to the improvement of living standards of people in Pacific region. However, in order for this to happen, there must be a critical assessment of the resource, continuation of cutting-edge research and development, improved management practices and policies, and marketing initiatives and promotions in the key markets of East Asia, India, the Middle East, Europe and the USA. Following editorial and financial support from the FACT project, a report of the proceedings of this important regional meeting will be published shortly.

Copies will be available from mid-September. Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it on +679 3370733 or the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Caption: FACT Project Team Leader Dr Lex Thomson plants a sandalwood seedling next to intermediate host plants.

 


The European Union-funded Facilitating Agricultural Commodity Trade (FACT) project is implemented by the Land Resources Division of SPC.