July 16, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers have given approval to transport the plant “Gyrinopswalla” or “Walla –Patta” on commercial basis, based on a permit issued by the respective authority, cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said.
The proposal was made by President Maithripala Sirisena in his capacity as the Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment, to implement the method prepared with the agreement of respective parties which are the officials of the department of Forest Conservation, Department of Wildlife Conservation and Biodiversity Secretariat to enforce necessary action for the conservation of Gyrinopswalla plant which was included in the Red list prepared in 2012.
Walla patta is a medium-height tree which grows up to 15 meters in height with a straight, slender trunk and with a small, rounded or umbel crown. It has a thin, brownish-grey smooth and strongly fibrous bark.
It was found to produce a resinous substance called “Agarwood” which is used as a base for the world’s most expensive perfumes. This made many people transport the tree overseas.
Walla Patta is not protected under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance, but cannot be taken out of the country without permission.