Rare plant shipment seized | The Express Tribune


In a joint operation, the Sindh Wildlife Department and Anti-Narcotics Force seized 17,935 kilograms of the rare wild plant Guggal from a container bound for a Gulf country. The estimated international market value of the confiscated resin is in the billions of rupees.

According to Sindh Wildlife Chief Conservator Javed Mahar, during a joint operation by the Wildlife Department and ANF at Karachi Gateway Terminal, 335 sacks of the protected and rare wild plant resin Guggal, also known as Guggal gum, were seized from a container booked for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The seized valuable resin weighs 17,935 kilograms.

The Sindh Wildlife Department, taking legal action, has confiscated bags of Guggal resin under the Sindh Wildlife Protection Act. A case numbered 4/2024 has been registered against the involved individuals, which will be presented for trial in the court of the District and Session Judge, Karachi South.

Guggal naturally grows in Kirthar National Park in Sindh, the Rann of Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary, Gorakh Hills, the Kirthar Range in Baluchistan, and the D.G. Khan area in Punjab. It is crucial for preventing desertification and protecting fertile topsoil. Its leaves provide food for wild animals during droughts, and the resin boosts their immunity. However, human greed and chemical extraction methods are threatening its survival.

Deputy Conservator of Sindh Wildlife, Mumtaz Soomro, highlighted the medicinal properties and market demand for Guggal resin. The plant’s yield is often artificially increased by injuring its stems and injecting chemicals, which eventually kills the plant.

Research from a German university indicates that the illegal trade of Guggal resin is driving the species towards extinction.

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