A sustainable forest is a forest that is managed carefully so that as trees are felled they are replaced with seedlings that eventually grow into mature trees. Great care is taken to ensure the safety of wildlife and to preserve the natural environment. The challenge of sustainable forests is an innovative piece of work that provides a range of insights into forest resource and the power relations behind the working of forest policy at some levels.
Malaysia's wealth of natural resources has been indispensable to its economic growth, but this growth has come at significant human and environmental cost. Malaysia has also come under scrutiny for its handling of illegal logging, both domestically and abroad. While logging is a huge source of revenue for the country, the network of illegal logging firms is large and complex, and major enforcement efforts are required to tackle it. Specifically, Southest Asia, which has vast tracts of primal rain forests, is at risk from excessive logging. The other challenges are, complexity of the tropical forest ecosystem, low commercial timber productivity of natural tropical forests, stringency of certification standards and many more.
Sustainable forest management is a topical issue, not just for resource managers but also for people from all walks of life. One of the major challenges in forest management is the sustainability of the resource itself, while the challenge for the conservation of biological diversity is not to 'halt deforestation' but to secure a minimum set of strategically located primary forests in representative areas having high diversity and endemism. In addition to this, mechanisms and methodologies for valuation of the many diverse goods and services that the forest provides, especially those that are not readily traded in the marketplace, need to be further developed.
Sustainable forests are not only productive in terms of the wood products they provide but also they are regarded as places that can be exploited by the leisure industry. Sustainable forests add greatly to the look of the natural environment and consequently attract tourists. Besides, sustainable forests can only survive if they make a profit and provide employment.