Evidence of deforestation globally

  • Brazil and Indonesia are the two countries with the largest areas cleared per year
  • From 2000-2005 Brazil cleared over three thousand hectares per year and Indonesia cleared almost two thousand hectares per year
  • From 2000-2005 Brazil took up 27% and Indonesia took up 17% of tropical deforestation
  • On the other hand, countries such as Malaysia and Mexico cleared less than 500 hectares between 2000-2005 and contributed to the bottom 31% of countries sharing tropical deforestation
  • The annual rate of deforestation in countries increased dramatically in some countries but decreased in others from 2000-2010
  • The rate in Indonesia increased by 107%
  • The rate in Malaysia increased by 9% and by 2012 it was one the countries with the highest amount of deforestation with a massive 14.4% of forest loss
  • The rate in Brazil decreased by 21%
  • The rate in Mexico decreased by 37%


  • Malaysia is a country in South East Asia
  • The natural vegetation in Malaysia is tropical rainforest
  • 67% of Malaysia's land is covered by rainforest
  • The rate of deforestation in Malaysia is increasing faster than any other tropical country in the world. Between 2000 and 2013
  • Malaysia's total forest loss was an area larger than Denmark

The threats to malaYsia's rainforests


  • Malaysia became the world's largest exporter of tropical in the 1980s
  • Clear felling, where all trees are chopped down in an area was very common
  • This led to total destruction of forest habitats
  • Clear felling has recently been replaced by selective logging where only fully-grown trees are cut down and trees that have important ecological vlaue are left unharmed

Road building

  • Roads are constructed to provide access to mining areas, new settlements and energy projects
  • Logging requires road construction to bring in machinery and take away the timber

Energy development

  • In 2011, after five decades of delays, the controversial Bakun dam in Sarawak started to generate electricity
  • The Bakun Dam (205 m) is Asia's highest dam outside China
  • The dam's reservoir flooded over 700km2 of forests and farmland
  • The dam supplies energy for industrialised the peninsular Malaysia
  • Several more dams are planned too boost Malaysia's electricity supplies

Mineral extraction

  • Mining (mainly tin and smelting) is common in Peninsualar Malaysia
  • Rainforest has been cleared for mining and road construction

Commercial farming

  • Malaysia is the largest exporter of palm oil in the world
  • During 1970s, large areas of land were converted to palm oil plantations
  • Increasing amount of land is being converted into plantations as farmers receive 10-year tax incentives

Subsistence farming

  • Tribal people living in the rainforest practise subsistence farming
  • Traditionally, local communities would hunt and gather food from the forest and grow some food crops in cleared pockets of forest
  • This type of farming is small scale and sustainable
  • One method of clearing land is 'slash and burn' which involves the use of fire to clear the land
  • The burning creates valuable nutrients that helps plants to grow
  • However, these fires can grow out of control, destroying large areas of forest

Population pressuRe

  • In the past poor, urban people were encouraged to move into the countryside from the rapidly growing cities
  • This is called transmigration
  • Between 1956 and the 1980s, about 15000 hectares of rainforest was felled for the settlers and then many set up plantations

Impacts of deforestation on Malaysia

Soil erosion

  • Soil takes thousands of years to form
  • It can take a matter of hours to strip it away
  • The removal of soil by wind and rain is called soil erosion
  • The roots of trees and plants bind the soil together
  • Deforestation means that soil can easily become loose and erode away

Loss of biodiversity

  • Biodiversity is a measure of the variety of plants and animals in a particular ecosystem
  • Rainforests as the most biodiversity ecosystems in the world
  • Deforestation destroys the ecosystems and the many habitats that exist on the ground and in the tree
  • This reduces biodiversity dramatically

Biodiversity in the Main Range, Peninsular Malaysia

The Main Range is an upland region stretching for 500km along the backbone of Peninsular Malaysia. This region is very important because it is the largest area of continuos forest left in Oeninsular Malaysia, it has a very rich biodiversity with over 600 species, the highlands forests are home to over 25% of all plant species found in Malaysia and there are still many undiscovered plants that have medical qualities that could provide cures for diseases.

Contribution to climate change

  • Deforestation can have a impact on local and global climates
  • Trees absorb CO2 end emit oxygen which helps to reduce the rate of global warming
  • Trees give off moisture during transpiration so deforestation reduces the moisture int he air resulting Ina drier climate
  • The process of evaporation uses up heat and cooks air so cutting down trees means that temperatures will rise

Economic develOpment

  • Deforestation in many parts of the world is driven by profit
  • Whilst it may result in short-term economic gains, it may lead to long-term losses ...

Economic gains

  • Development of land for mining, farming and energy will lead to jobs both directly (construction, farming) and indirectly (supply and support industries)
  • Companies will pay taxes to the government which can be used to improve public services, such as education and water supply
  • Improved transport infrastructure opens up areas for industrial development and tourism
  • Products such as palm oil and rubber provide raw materials for processing industries
  • Hydro-electric power will provide cheap and plentiful electricity
  • Minerals such as gold are very valuable

Economic losses

  • Pollution of water sources and an increasingly dry climate may result in water shortages
  • Fires can cause harmful pollution and can burn out of control, destroying vast areas of valuable forest
  • Rising temperatures could devastate some forms of farming such as growing tea, fruit and flowers
  • Plants that could bring huge medical benefits and high profits may become extinct
  • Climate change could have economic costs as people have to adapt to living in a warmer world
  • The number of tourists attracted by rainforests could decrease

Sustainable management of tropical rainforests

Wy do rainforests need to be managed sustainably?

  • To ensure that rainforests remain a lasting recourse for future generations
  • To allow valuable rainforest recourses to be used without causing long-term damage to the environment

Slective logging and planting

  • The most damaging form of deforestation is clear felling which completely destroys the ecosystem as all the trees are chopped down in the area being cleared
  • It was introduced in Malaysia in 1977 ...

Malaysia's selective management system

  • Two years before felling there is a pre-felling study to identify what is there
  • One year before felling trees are marked and arrows are painted on trees to indicate direction of felling to acoid damaging other valuable trees
  • Trees a felled by license holders
  • Three to six months after felling there is a survey to check what has been felled and prosecution may result from illegal felling
  • Two years after felling a treatment plan is drawn up to restore forest
  • Five to ten years after felling, there is remedial and regeneration work by state forestry officials and replacement trees are planted
  • Thirty to forty years after felling, the cycle begins again

Conservation and education

  • Rainforest can be preserved in conservation areas such as national parks or nature reserves
  • These areas can also be used for education, scientific research and tourism
  • Recently, large international businesses have supported conservation projects in exchange for carrying out scientific research or the provision of raw materials


  • It is a Swiss perfume company
  • It works with conservation international and aims to protect 148 000 hectares of rainforest in the Caura Basin, Venezuela
  • Local Ariosto people are encouraged to harvest and market tonka beans. A warehouse where beans can be dried and stored was built in 2012 which improves their quality and increases their value

Goal forest (carbon sinks)

  • In 2008, the Gola forest on Sierra Leone's southern border with Liberia became a protected national park
  • The park plays a significant role in reducing global warming
  • It acts as a carbon sink by absorbing carbon dioxide from the air


  • Countries like Costa Rica, Belize and Mayalsia have promoted their forests for ecotourism
  • It aims to introduce people to the natural world, to benefit local communities and protect the environment for the future
  • Through income generated by ecotourism, local people and the government benefit from retaining and protecting the trees
  • This is a more sustainable option than sitting them down for short-term profit

International agreements

  • Rainforests are now understood to be of global importance
  • Therefore, international agreements have been made to help protect them

Hardwood forestry

  • The Forest Stewarshio Council (FSC) is an international organisation that promotes sustainable forestry
  • Products sourced from sustainable ,an aged forests carry the FSC label
  • The FSC tries to educate manufacturers and consumers about the need to buy sustainable hardwood like mahogany
  • It aims to reduce demand for the rare and valuable hardwoods

Debt reduction

  • Some countries have borrowed money to fund developments
  • To pay of these debts some have raised money from massive deforestation programmes
  • Recently, some donor countries and organisations have reduced debts in return for agreement that rainforests will not be deforested
  • This has become known as 'debt-for-nature swapping'

By phoebe burton


Created with images by WanderingSolesPhotography - "Rainforest"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.