With 19.5 million hectare of its land covered with natural forest, Malaysia enjoys one of the highest percentages of forested land among tropical countries. Consequently, the timber and timber products industry are very important and play a significant role in Malaysia’s economy. At the same time, there is also an increasing recognition of the protective roles of the forests such as the conservation of biodiversity, protection of soil and water resources and stabilizing the climate. As such, Malaysia has accorded the management of the forests on a sustainable basis a high priority.
Forest management in Malaysia is based on the Selective Management System (SMS) which involves the selection of a management regime to optimize not only the objectives of efficient and economic harvesting and sustained yield but, more importantly, to ensure that forest development is ecologically and environmentally sustainable. However, forest degradation in terms of carbon stocks is occurring in production forests as a result of logging operations. Logging operations in Malaysia in the past have also been reported to be damaging, but of late, significant improvements have been made. The extent of current forest degradation in terms of carbon stocks need to be further studied as it is still not well understood in Malaysia.
Reports have indicated that improved forest management could reduce degradation and reduce carbon emission. However, all these studies are confined to specific areas and with limited information for scaling up activities. Consequently, this project is implemented to assess enhancement of climate change mitigation through reduced emissions from forest degradation in Malaysia. Specifically, the project will determine emissions from forest degradation in logged forests and assess the value of enhancing forest management practices to reduce emissions from forest degradation. Financial evaluations of the improved management practices will be undertaken to provide avenues for assessing payment for ecosystem services.