PM: 120-year-old forest brings states together

The policy will outline a clear direction for the forestry sector, aiming to mitigate new challenges domestically and internationally

by LYDIA NATHAN / pic by BERNAMA

THE Malaysian Forestry Policy, which was launched yesterday, will bring all states together to work on conservation efforts for the country’s forest, which is 120 years old.

Launched by Prime Minister (PM) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (picture; left), the policy will outline a clear direction for the forestry sector, aiming to mitigate new challenges domestically and internationally as discussed at the 78th National Land Council meeting, which was held on Jan 29, 2021.

Muhyiddin said the Malaysian Forestry Policy has to be a shared effort with a role to play for everyone.

“I hope that the joint efforts of the federal and state governments in implementing the five objectives of the Malaysian Forestry Policy will continue to be strong, to achieve the desired targets,” he said at the launching ceremony yesterday.

He added that to this effect, the Malaysia Forest Fund (MFF) was established to enhance a collaborative strategic partnership among the federal government and state governments and the private sector in generating funds through the REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries) Finance Framework for forest conservation and sustainable management activities.

“The carbon certificates in the form of Forest Conservation Certificates and Forest Carbon Offsets based on United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change requirements, issued by MFF can be used primarily by the private sector to achieve their sustainable needs and their climate ambitions,” he said.

As of 2018, Malaysia had 55.3% or 18.27 million ha of forest area, and from that 46.3% is situated in Peninsular Malaysia, 64.5% in Sabah and 62.3% in Sarawak.

“As a socially responsible government, various efforts have been taken to fulfil the commitments made during the Earth Summit in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, by mainstreaming biodiversity management in national development.

“Of the total forested areas in Malaysia, only 1.7% are degraded forest areas. Since 2016, a total of 1,859ha of degraded areas have been reforested with an allocation of RM152.82 million,” Muhyiddin said.

The government has allocated RM34.5 million for restoration efforts all across the country with Muhyiddin encouraging state governments to conduct preservation methods via nature-based solutions especially in natural environments.

“An estimation of RM6 billion is needed for this purpose, and so moving in line with this, specific financial instruments have been formed including the Ecological Fiscal Transfer for Biodiversity Conservation and the Trust Fund for the Conservation of Natural Resources under state governments in Peninsular Malaysia,” he said.