In Canada, sustainable forest management decision and activities are based on scientific research , rigorous planning processes and public consultation. To uphold these desicion and activities, Canada has developed laws, regulations, and policies to enforce sustainable management standards and practices across the country.
- Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments have long recognized that forests and their many resources are essential in so many ways to the long-term well-being of Canada environment, communities and economy.
- Managing forest sustainability is therefore critical for Canada, not only to balance competing uses in the short term, but to ensure we can enjoy forest' benefits for generations to come. Managing their forest sustainably is also critical from a global perspective. Canada has 9% of the world's forest, which means that keeping them healthy contributes to global ecosystem health.
- In 1992, Canada acted on these responsibilities when the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers and Canada's forest sector endorsed national adoption of sustainable forest managment principles. Now, more than two decades later, Canada is a world leader in sustainable forest management, applying it across the country's publicy owned forest - meaning about 94% of all Canada's forest land.
Forest conservation refers to a range of activities, tools and approaches to achieve forest health and biodiversity objectives, including in managed forest where harvesting occurs. These activities are set out in sustainable forest management plans and many are backed by law.
Conservation efforts may take form of provincial guidlines that forest companies operating on the land must follow such as:
- retain tress used by wildlife during harvesting
- create a mix of tree species types and age
- ensure that sections of forest remain connected to meet wildlife habitat needs
Malaysia: Facing the challenges of sustainable Development
Malaysia's wealth of natural resources has been indispensable to its economic growth , but this growth has come at significant human and environmental cost. Although the southeast Asian nation met all eight of the UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) before the 2015 deadline, Prime Minister Najib Razak has admitted that the MDGs "fell short" of achieving trully sustainable development.
With the arrival of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), comprising 17 environmental, economic, and social objective, Malaysia has made several official commitments to sustainable development. It has pledge a 40% reduction in carbon emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 2020, while reiterating its commitment at the Rio Summit in 1992 to keep at least 50% of the nation's landmass under forest cover. Building on its reputation as an exporter of solar products, Malaysia also aspires to become the hub of green technology in Southeast Asia. It is leading the manufacturing and marketing of electric vehicles in the region. In May, the Kedah-based company, Amber Dual Sdn. Bhd, formed a joint venture with the Beijing Auto International Corporation to begin production of electric vehicles in July 2016.
Palm oil production
Forest clearance for palm oil production has been an important engine of Malaysia's economic growth. According to The Wall Street Journal, Malaysia exports around $12 billion of palm oil per year, 40 percent of the world's supply. But the palm oil industry is notorious for dangerous conditions and abusive labor practices that exploit a largely migrant workforce. Reforming the palm oil industry to comply with human rights standards is a challenge Malaysia will need to meet to achieve the SDGs.
Palm oil production has had another environment cost: haze. In 2013, the Air Pollutant Index (API) in several Malaysia states reached hazardous levels due to airborne haze. The haze, which was caused by harmful slash and burn land clearance, was initially attributes to Indonesia, but Malaysian companies are also complicit.
Malaysia has also come under scrutiny for its handling of illegal loging, both domedtically 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.
There has been some effort to curb illegal logging, mainly in Sarawak, one of the states richest in natural resources. Recently, Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem Launched a campaign called "Ops Gergaji" to crack down on illegal logging, raising fines to RM 1 million. But because legal logging is highly profitable, it is also highly susceptible to corrupt activities. Ostensibly legal logging has been dogged by corruption and lack of transparency in the granting of logging concessions and the enforcement of regulations. According to Transparency International Malaysia, Malaysia loses RM 800 to RM 900 million in timber every year to illegal logging and corruption. To curb these loses, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has frozen the accounts of 400 companies suspected of illegal logging, bribery, and tax evasion.