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  • Writer's pictureRoss Henry

CITES report: Boswellia species in international trade:Identification, supply chains, & practicalm

Following the 18th meeting (CoP18; Geneva, 2019) where the Conference of the Parties adopted Decisions 18.205 to 18.208 on Boswellia species, this report reviews and synthesizes available data on Boswellia species in international trade. The genus Boswellia (Burseraceae), comprises about 24- 25 species. No Boswellia species are currently included any CITES Appendices (I, II or III). And the vast majority of oleo-resin production from Boswellia species is from wild harvest. Due to the wide variation in governance across Boswellia range States and the diversity of factors affecting populations of different Boswellia species, a systems approach is essential. This report assesses Boswellia species in international trade frankincense from West Africa (B. dalzielii, B. papyrifera), the Horn of Africa1 (B. carteri, B. frereana, B. neglecta, B. occulta, B. papyrifera and B. rivae), the Arabian Peninsula (B. sacra) and Asia (B. serrata). In this report, B. carteri (which occurs in northern Somalia) and B. sacra (occurring in Oman and Yemen) are treated as separate species. This perspective is supported by recent chemotaxonomic and genetic studies (Khan et al., 2019; Khan, pers. comm., 2022), and by prior taxonomic (Hepper, 1969)2 and phytochemical perspectives (Woolley et al., 20123 ; Schmeich et al., 20194 ) on B. carteri and B. sacra. As well as the widespread view of the fragrance industry. But is at odds with the recent taxonomic review of the genus Boswellia by (Thulin, 2020)5 .

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