Working Paper No. 29: Haumeni1, not many: renewed plunder and mismanagement in the Timorese Sandalwood industry

Sandalwood production in East Timor 1990-1996

Download 218.72 Kb.
Size218.72 Kb.
1   2   3   4   5   6

Sandalwood production in East Timor 1990-1996








Heartwood (m3)








Sandalwood Oil (ton)








Powder (Serbuk/ton)








Source: Timor Timur Dalam Angka 1996
The main recent period of unsustainable extraction of sandalwood in East Timor occurred between 1997 and 1999 and reliable official figures are not available.



This paper was written under the auspices of the Resource Management in the Asia Pacific Project, Australian National University. Funding from the project made it possible to undertake fieldwork in Timor during 1999 and 2000.


ACIL Pty. Ltd., 1999. Bobonaro Area Development Project [BARDEP]: An assessment of agricultural development potentials in East Timor. Unpublished Project Report. Melbourne, Australia.

Applegate, G.B, and McKinnell, F.H., 1993. The Management and Conservation Status of Santalum Species Occurring in Australia. In F.H. McKinnell (ed) Sandalwood in the Pacific Region. Proceedings of a symposium held on 2 June 1991 at the XVII Pacific Science Congress, Honolulu, Hawaii. Canberra Aciar Proceedings No.49. pp5-12.

Bappeda Tk1 dengan Kantor Statistik, Propinsi Timor Timur, 1996. Timor Timur Dalam Angka

Barbosa, Duarte, 1921. The Book of Duarte Barbosa (1518). London 1918-21 M. L Dames.

Barret, D.R, 1989. Santalum Album (Indian Sandalwood) Literature Review. Mulga Research Centre Report No 3. Perth. Curtin University of Technology.

Bligh, William, 1789. A Voyage to the South Seas. Facsimile Editions.

Boxer, C.R., 1947. The Topasses of Timor Mededelingen No 73. Koninklijk Vereniging Insich Instituut. Amsterdam.

Boxer, C.R., 1948. Fidalgoes in the Far East. 1550-1770. The Hague

Cherrier, J-F, 1993. Sandalwood in New Caledonia. In F.H. McKinnell (ed) Sandalwood in the Pacific Region. Proceedings of a symposium held on 2 June 1991 at the XVII Pacific Science Congress, Honolulu, Hawaii. Canberra: ACIAR Proceedings No.49. pp19-22.

Cinatti vas Monteiro Gomes, Ruy, 1950. Esboco historico do sandalo no Timor Portugues. Lisboa: Officinas Graficas Casa Portuguesa.

D______, 1851. Reis naar het rijk van Amanoebang op Timor in October 1850. (Journey to the realm of Amanuban in Timor). Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch-Indië 13(2): 153-179.

Department Kehutanan, 1991. Cendana (Santalum Album L.) Kupang. Bagian Proyek Perencanaan Pimbinaan dan Pengendalian Pembangunan Kehutanan Kantor Wilayah, Department Kehutanan.

Dinas Kehutanan, 1998. Unpublished Statistical data on forest inventories. Kupang, NTT.

Dove, Michael R., 1996. So Far from Power, So Near to the Forest: A structural analysis of gain and blame in Tropical Forest Development. In C Padoch and Nancy L Peluso (eds) Borneo in Transition: People, Forests, Conservation and Development. Oxford:Oxford University Press. 41-58.

Forman, S., 1977. East Timor: Exchange and political hierarchy at the time of the European discoveries. In Hutterer K.L (ed) Economic Exchange and Social Interaction in Southeast Asia: Perspectives from Prehistory, history and ethnography. Ann Arbor: Centre for South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of Michigan.

Fox, J.E.D., 1990. Silviculture of Santalam album in Timor NTT. (Report for the period 1988-1990). ACIAR /Australia-Indonesia Sandalwood Project. Curtin University Western Australia.

Fox, James J., 1977. The Harvest of the Palm. Ecological Change in Eastern Indonesia. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

Fox, James J., 1992. The Great Lord Rests at the Centre: The Paradox of Powerlessness in European-Timorese Relations. Canberra Anthropology. 5(2) 22-33.

Fox, James J., 1996. The Paradox of Powerlessness: Timor in Historical Perspective. Paper presented to the Nobel Peace Prize Symposium. The University of Oslo.

Freidberg, C., 1978. The development of traditional agricultural practices in Western Timor. In J Friedman and M.J. Rowlands (eds) The Evolution of Social Systems. Proceedings of a meeting of the Research Seminar in Archaeology and Related Subjects held at the Institute of Archaeology, London University. London: Duckworth and Co. pp137-172.

Gjerum L., Fox, J.E.D. and Ehrhart L., (eds), 1995. Sandalwood Seed Nursery and Plantation Technology FAO, Suva. RAS/92/2361. Field Document No.8.

Groeneveldt W.P, 1880. Notes on the Malay Archipelago and Malacca compiled from Chinese Sources. Verhandelingen Koninklijk Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen. Vol XXXIX 1 (1-144).

Guillemard F.H.H, 1894. Stanford’s Compendium of Geography and Travel (new issue) Australasia Volume 2 Malaysia and the Pacific Archipelagos. London: Edward Standford.

Hamilton, L. and Conrad, C.E. (ed), 1990. Proceedings of the Symposium on Sandalwood in the Pacific: April 9-11,1990. Tech. Rep. PSW-122, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, US. Department of Agriculture, Honolulu.

Hamzah, 1976. Sifat Silvika dan Silivikultur Cendana (Santalum album L.) di Pulau Timor. Laporan Lembaga Penelitian Hutan. Bogor 227.

Harisetijono and Sutarjo Suriamihardja, 1993. Sandalwood in Nusa Tenggara Timur. In McKinnell, F.H. (ed) Sandalwood in the Pacific Region. Proceedings of a symposium held on 2 June 1991 at the XVII Pacific Science Congress, Honolulu, Hawaii. Canberra ACIAR Proceedings No.49 pp39-43.

Hurst, P, 1990. Rainforest Politics: Ecological destruction in South-east Asia. London, New Jersey: Zed Books Ltd.

Husain A.M.M., 1983. Report on the Rehabilitation of Sandalwood and the trade in Nusa Tenggara Timur, Indonesia. World Bank PPIPD Project Report, West Timor.

Kushalapa K.A, 1998. Trade Liberalisation in Sandalwood. In Radomiljac, A.M, Ananthapadmanabho, H.S, Welbourne, R.M, and Satyanarayan Rao, K. (eds), Sandal and its Products. Proceedings of an international seminar held on 18-19 December 1997 organised by the Institute of Wood Science and Technology (ICFRE) and Karnataka State Forest Department, Bangalore India. Canberra: ACIAR Proceedings No 84 24-26.

Leitao H., 1948. Os Portuguese em Solor e Timor de 1515 a 1702 (The Portuguese in Solor and Timor from 1515 to 1702) Lisboa: Tip. Da Liga dos Combatentes da Grande Guerra.

Ormeling F.J, 1956. The Timor Problem: A geographical interpretation of an underdeveloped island. Groningen: J P Wolters.

McWilliam A.R, 1996. Severed Heads that Germinate the State: History, Politics and Headhunting in Southwest Timor. In Hoskins, Janet (ed) Headhunting and the Social Imagination in Southeast Asia. Stanford:Stanford University Press. 127-166.

Messakh, Matheos V., 1999. Orang Timor Mencuri Cendana di Tanah Sendiri. Suatu tinjauan terhadap kebijakan Pemerintah Daerah NTT tentang komoditas cendana dan implikasi bagi kesejahteraan masyarakat lokal. [Timorese Steal Sandalwood from their Own Land: A study of NTT Government policy towards sandalwood and the implications for local community welfare] Lokakarya Penulisan Pegelolaan Sumber Daya Alam untuk Rakyat. Lembaga Alam Tropika Indonesia (LATIN) [unpublished].

Messakh, M and Apolos Dewa, 1999. Dalam Hutanku ada cendana, tapi bukan milikku. [In my forest there is sandalwood but it does not belong to me]. Udik: Advokasi Newsletter (5) Kupang. August .

Monk, Kathryn A., De Fretes, Yance and Reksodiharjo-Lilley, Gayatri, 1997. The Ecology of Nusa Tenggara and Maluku. Australia, Indonesia, U.K, USA: Periplus Publications.

Moor, J H., 1837. Short account of Timor, Roti, Savu, Solor. In Notices of the Indian Achipelago and adjacent countries (part 1). Singapore: [Reprinted London:Frank Cass, 1968].

Nuningsih, R., Mudita, I .W., and Mella, W., 1994. Kajian Permudaan Cendana (Santalum album L) Secara vegetatif pada Habitat Alamiah di Timor Tengah Selatan NTT. [Study of vegetative root propagation of Sandalwood in natural habitats of South Central Timor]. Kupang. Universitas Nusa Cendana.

Nuningsih R., 1996. Kajian Perkembangan Sistem Perakaran Anakan Vegetatif Alami Cendana (Santalum Album L.) pada Habitat Alaminya di Kabuapaten Timor Tengah Selatan. [Study of development of vegetative root sprouting of Sandalwood in natural habitats of South Central Timor]. Kupang: Universitas Nusa Cendana.

Pigafetta, A., 1969. Magellan's Voyage: A Narrative Account of the First Circumnavigation. [trans. and edited R. A. Skelton]. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Poffenberger, Mark (ed), 1990. Keepers of the Forest: Land Management Alternatives in Southeast Asia. Manila: Ateneo de Manila University Press.

Pos Kupang [Kupang Post]. Harian Umum. Various Issues 1996- 1999.

Radomiljac, A.C., 1998. The influence of pot host species, seedling age and supplementary nursery nutrition on Santalum album Linn (Indian sandalwood) plantation establishment within the Ord River Irrigation Area, Western Australia. Forest Ecology and Management 102:193-201.

Radomiljac, A.M., Ananthapadmanabho, H.S, Welbourne, R.M, and Satyanarayan Rao, K.(eds), 1999. Sandal and its Products. Proceedings of an international seminar held on 18-19 December 1997 organised by the Institute of Wood Science and Technology (ICFRE) and Karnataka State Forest Department, Bangalore India. Canberra: ACIAR Proceedings No 84.

Rahm Th, 1925. Sandelhout op Timor. Tectona Buitenzorg Vol 18 499-545.

Ramanathan, C., 1997. Indian Sandalwood Trade. In TED Case Studies: Sandalwood Case.

Risseeuw, P., 1950. Sandelhout (Sandalwood). In C.J.J. van Hall and C.van deKoppel, De Landbouw in de Indische Archipel (Agriculture in the Indonesian Archipelago). The Hague Vol 3 pp686-705.

Shea S.R, Radomiljac, A.M., Brand J., and Jones, P., 1998. An Overview of Sandalwood and the Development of Sandal in Farm Forestry in Western Australia. In Radomiljac, A.M et al (eds), Sandal and its Products. Proceedings of an international seminar held on 18-19 December 1997 organised by the Institute of Wood Science and Technology (ICFRE) and Karnataka State Forest Department.

Shoba, Rai, 1990. ‘Status and Cultivation of Sandalwood in India’ Symposium of Sandalwood in the Pacific April 9-11 Hawaii. 1990 pp65-71.

Steenis C.G.G.J van, 1939. The native country of sandalwood and teak: a plant geographical study. Hendelingen 8e Nederland Indische. Natuurwetenschappelijke Congres, Sorabaja, pp408-418.

Surata, K., 1992. Effect of host plants on growth of sandalwood (Santalum album) seedlings. Santalum 9:1-10.

Surata, K., Harisetijono and Sinaga, M., 1993. Effect of intercropping system on sandalwood growth (Santalum album) Santalum 20:17-24.

Suriamihardja S and I Wayan Widhana Susila, 1993. Strategi dan Upaya Pelestarian Potensi Cendana di Nusa Tenggara Timur [Strategies and Efforts for the Preservation of Sandalwood in NTT] Savanna. Kupang: Balai Penelitian Kehutanan. 1-8.

Suripto, 1992. Pemulihan Potensi Cendana di NTT. Makalah pada Seminar Department Hari Bhakti. Department Kehutanan NTT. Kupang.

Therik, Gerzon Tom, 1993. Wehali The Four Corner Land: The Cosmology and Traditions of a Timorese Ritual Centre. PhD Thesis. Canberra: The Australian National University.

Warsito S.P. and Andayani, W., 1987. Pengusahaan hutan tanaman Cendana. Makalah disampaikan pada diskusi Cendana. Universitas Gadja Mada. Yogjakarta.

Widiyatmika M., 1986. Laporan Penelitian: Masalah Sosial Budaya dalam Pengelolaann Kayu Cendana di Propinsi Nusa Tenggara Timur. Proyek Studi Sektoral /Regional Dengan Kontrak Nomor 112/ Department Pendidikan da Kebudayaan, Universitas Nusa Cendana, Indonesia.

World Rainforest Movement, 1990. Rainforest Destruction: Causes,Effects and False Solutions. Malaysia: Jutaprint.

1 Meto Timorese word for sandalwood meaning ‘fragrant wood’.

2 This situation is hardly unique to Timor, and unregulated sandalwood harvesting has threatened the sustainability of existing stocks in numerous places (e.g. Ramanathan 1997; McKinnell 1992; Monk 1997: 652)

3 Data Ekspor Daerah Nusa Tenggara Timur, Kanwil Dep Perindustrian dan Perdagangan: Kupang 1997: 3. I note that it is illegal to export raw or unmodified sandalwood timber and rootwood.

4 Some degree of inter-island trade in sandalwood is not officially reported. Indeed, arguably the mechanism of inter-island trade in sandalwood represents a strategy to subvert export restrictions. Similarly, export figures from east Timor are not included here but are likely to have been higher than officially recorded up until the withdrawal of the Indonesian Government in late 1999.

5 Sandalwood is reported to have a high fixative quality and in the manufacture of aromatic oils it has intrinsic blending properties and attracts a premium price in international markets.

6 It is widely accepted that sandalwood is an endemic species of Timor and the region and not an import from India as was once argued. (Van Steenis 1939).

7 Malacca (Malaysia) was an important trading ports for Timorese sandalwood, a fact not lost on the Portuguese when they captured the port in 1511. In that year Alberqueque dispatched three ships to seek out the spice islands of eastern Indonesia including Timor (Therik, 1995: 47). The significance of Malacca to this region of Timor is recorded in the myths of the Sina Mutin Malacca (White China Malacca).

8 The immediate antecedent for this action was the punitive raid on the Portuguese trading entrepot of Mena on the north coast of Timor by the Kreang of Tallo in 1641 (Therik, 1995: 62).

9 Although precise figures on amounts are difficult to find. Van Leur estimated in 1614 that some 3000 pikul (1 pikul = 60kg approx) were brought onto the market each year. Cruwford (1856: 422) estimated the produce of Timor to be in the order of 8,000 picul. Moor makes the comment that the annual trade of Coupang which represented about 25 percent of the trade "has for the last 5 years exceeded twelve hundred thousand Spanish dollars" (1837: 3).

10 Beeswax was the second prized export commodity from Timor. In the nineteenth century there was high demand to supply the Javanese batik cloth industry.

11 Moor refers to imports such as "coarse blue and white cloth, large pattern chintzes…..china silks and chinaware….muskets and gunpowder." (1837:8)

12 Based on an earlier regulations, Peraturan Tjendana 1953 and Peraturan Daerah NTT No 11, 1966.

13 “Pemerintah Dareah Tk1 menguasai semua cendana baik yang berupa tumbuhan hidup ataupun mati maupun potongan, belahan, kepingan akar yang belum diolah; baik yang berada di dalam maupun di luar kawasan hutan negara dalam Propinsi NTT"

14 During the time of the Dutch East Indies Company it was already known that the sandalwood occurred mostly in the southern districts (van Hogendorp, 1779).

15 Banu prohibitions are still widely used in Timorese communities to effect controlled harvesting of tree crops, particularly areca nut and coconuts.

16 The total yield from this operation from the four main districts was reportedly 2,485.5 tonnes (Pos Kupang, 8 Juli 1998).

17 In one of those well meaning but futile gestures to arrest the crisis in sandalwood stocks, the then Governor called for all families in the Province to plant 10 sandalwood trees annually. (Jakarta Post, 16 December 1996).

18 Biasanya kayu milik rakyat yang hanya satu atau dua kilogram selalu dirampas oleh aparat keamanan dan orangnya di tahan tanpa proses yang jelas. Namun ada juga kayu milik pengusaha keturunan yang jumlahnya bertonton justru dibiarkan karena ada kolusi dan nepotisme. Hal ini tentu sangat merugikan rakyat dan Pemda NTT karena hal ini telah terjadi berkali kali dan berlanjut.

19 Official figures for sandalwood production after 1996 are not available.

20 It is reported that the former President Suharto also made a suggestion during a visit to the Province that the division of ownership rights for sandalwood be split 80:20 with the majority rights retained by the growers/ land owners. (see also Pos Kupang 26 July 1998).

21 Kayu Cendana yang tumbuh secara alamiah diatas tanah milik perorangan atau Badan Hukum adalah milik perorangan atau Badan Hukum tersebut.

22 The island of Sumba is another natural production area although now of minor significance due to un-regulated extraction of sandalwood stocks (see Dept Kehutanan 1991). For a comparative perspective on the decline of sandalwood stocks see Appendix 1.

23 Attempts to establish plantations in East Timor under the Portuguese Colonial Government were also undertaken with only limited success (Cinatti, 1950).

24 There is a strong belief in Timor that the scent of sandalwood is largely a feature of the respect and traditional protection offered by ritual communities. There are recent reports that sandalwood stocks have not been producing the same degree of scented heartwood and that this is related to the widespread plunder and vandalism against the tree. I note here that this could just be a reflection of the increased cutting of immature sandalwood trees that have not had time to develop heartwood.

25 Timor’s geomorphology is composed of extensive areas of uplifted limestone deposits and ancient coralline reef formations.

26 An interesting additional result of Nuningsih’s research is that once adventitious root regrowth has reached a height of 1m or more on the lateral root system, the saplings are viable even if the oil bearing roots of the ‘mother tree’ are then extracted.

Share with your friends:
1   2   3   4   5   6

The database is protected by copyright © 2020
send message

    Main page