Malaysia Perspective & International Perspectives in Conservation & Management Challenges for Sustainable Forest By AINA AZUREEN

What is a Sustainable Forest ?

A sustainable forest is a forest that is organized so that when a logging activity is done, there are replacement or replanting new seedlings that eventually grow into new mature trees. This is a carefully and skilfully managed system. The forest is a working environment, which produce wood products such as wood pulp for the paper industry and wood based materials for furniture manufacture and the construction industry. A systematic action needs to be taken to ensure the safety of wildlife and to preserve the natural environment. Sustainable forests are the result of a common sense policy to replace trees that are felled so that forests continue to exist providing natural materials for all of us.

Malaysia Perspective

Known for its dense tropical forests, beautiful islands and staggering natural biodiversity, Malaysia has a reputation as an environmental treasure. But Malaysia has another reputation, as well, which is palm oil deforestation, slash-and-burn land clearing, illegal logging, unregulated mining, species extinction and hydroelectric dams that flood hundreds of kilometres of forest at a time. Considering the world's recent focus on environmental concerns, many would argue that Malaysia is more readily associated with the loss of its forest if there are no serious action taken to prevent this problem.

The sustainable management of the forest resources in Malaysia may further be enhance through careful implementation of policy and the recognised management system. These are some of the actions that should be considered to achieve this missions :

  • Reforestation and diversification of forest plantation programmes should be expanded to produce higher value speciality timbers and raw materials for specialised as well as small-scale industries.
  • Preparation of forest management plans, harvesting plans, harvesting plans and reforestation plans should be consult with the state governments and the relevant concessionaires as to ensure their effective implementation.
  • Encourage consumers to boycotts or stop buying all threatened tropical timbers in order to maintain species diversity

International Perspective

Forests provide a wide range of benefits at local, national and global levels. The world's forest are now at the centre of a tangle of conflicting issues as the forest is widely disrupted for promoting the growth of national economies. Believe it or not, our forest still faced the same problems that is continued deforestation, high levels of poverty in forested areas and low visibility of forestry in development strategies even though a lot of laws have been tone. Forest depletion in the developing world is not fundamentally rooted in logging or even clearing for agriculture but it is rooted in poverty, underdevelopment and population growth. Rising populations contribute to the pressure on the forest lands because of increase in land use for housing and development. Therefore, the challenge is not to prevent these activities but to manage them. The aim must be to ensure that wood and other forest products are harvested sustainably, where the forest are cleared only in a planned and controlled way.

Some of the contributions action that can be made are :

  • Develop forest policies that promote sustainble forest management.
  • Promote the regeneration and management of degraded forest lands in collaborations with local communities and other countries to meet their needs and goals, and privides assistance and training where required.
  • Promote long-term management contracts in public forests to enforce environmentally sound forestry practices and to develop partnership arrangements involving local communities, concessionaires and traders in forest products.
  • Family planning programmes to prevent over populations in poverty and underdevelopment country.

Most human activities involve costs and benefits that people have to weigh before they decide what they want to do. Securing the future of the world's forests is a global task in which all humanity must collaborate together to ensure the retention of our forests.

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