In the Mondulkiri Project’s Protected Forest there are many large Resin trees that are being protected from logging. Resin is one of the most important natural forest products collected by the indigenous Bunong in the forests around Mondulkiri.
Resin is extracted from Dipterocarp trees. Tapping resin involves cutting a backward sloping hole in large trees, burning the hole briefly to stimulate resin flow, and collecting the resin in plastic containers after a few days. Tappers then repeat the process – briefly burning the tap and returning to collect resin about every 5-15 days.
Using this method, trees can reportedly continue to yield resin for several decades. Tapping does not damage the trees. In general, the larger the tree, the more resin it produces. The “typical” resin tree yields about 30-35 litres of resin annually.
The local Bunong sell the resin that they collect from the forest. It is used as a raw material in the manufacturing of varnish, cheap soap, leather making, sealing wax for keeping boats waterproof and in torches for lighting houses in the village.