Monday 24th October 2016                 Change text size:

Frankincense tree under threat

Frankincense tree under threat

Frankincense, one of the gifts from the wise men given to Jesus, faces an uncertain future. Researchers are warning that over the next 15 years, the production of it could be halved. Charlotte Reid has more.

Frankincense, which is produced by tapping Boswellia trees, is facing problems because its trees are under threat.

The findings, which are based on a study that took place in Ethiopia, have been published in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

Adult trees are dying at a rate of 6-7% every year, according to the two year study. If this continues, then the number of trees could be down by 90% in 2050.

There are a number of reasons why the staple of the Christmas story is facing shortages, including insect attacks, grazing and fire.

The co-author of the research, Frans Bongers an ecologist from Wangeningen University in Holland, told the BBC that forests are declining and this is not helping the Boswellia tree.

The forests that remain are declining because the old individuals are dying continuously, and there are no new individuals coming into the system. That means that the forests are running out of trees.

In places like Oman and Yemen, it is being cut down systemically. Now in Ethiopia, it is being cut down as land is being turned over to agriculture.”   

There are investment companies that are against deforestation. To find out more about investing, ask your financial adviser, if you have one or complete our form and we’ll connect you with a specialist ethical adviser.

Picture source: Randy Robertson

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