Size of several forest reserves in Malaysia at alarming rate

The Federal and state governments of Malaysia have been urged to raise efforts to conserve and preserve forests in the country to ensure its sustainability and that it is free from encroachment. In several states the size of forest reserves are under 20 per cent such as Malacca (30 per cent), Perlis (11 per cent) and Negeri Sembilan (16 per cent) while the minimum is supposed to be at 30 per cent.
Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam Malaysia (Peka) president Sabrina Shariffa said so far there are no existing laws to prevent the carrying out of unmonitored logging activities that could possibly cause destruction to nature and other problems. "Based on Peka's observation, "Policy makers should act fast to make serious amendments to the existing Acts in an effort to ensure that more forests are protected and eradicate uncontrolled logging activities. "If not, Malaysia could lose its forest reserves and faced with problems involving habitat, ecosystem and biodiversity," she said. Shariffa was speaking at a press conference to announce the Save Our Rainforest Race 2016 (SORR 2016). The annual event held since 2013 serves as a symbol to save forests in the country that are depleting and to raise awareness on the importance of tropical rain forests in Malaysia as well as urge the public to take care of the environment. "This year, Peka is aiming to plant 1,000 trees of all sorts," said Shariffa, adding that a participation of 2,000 people aged 15 and above was expected.

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Malaysia forests still constituted a major sink for carbonsequestration

A study found that Malaysia's sustainable forestry policy is the most important example of the country's conservation and low-carbon type strategy. The study on low-carbon sustainable development options noted that this policy had earned Malaysia the status of a mega biodiversity nation with about 50 per cent of its land under forests. The study in May this year, conducted by Sustainable Development Initiatives (Sudi), said Malaysia's forests still constituted a major sink for carbon sequestration or the capture of carbon dioxide. Sudi is a think-tank of the Centre for Environment, Technology and Development Malaysia (Cetdem). Its study team comprised Cetdem chairman Gurmit Singh and economist Chang Yii Tan, with advice from environmental consultant Datuk Dr Leong Yueh Kwong. It stated: "Without its sustainable forestry policy, it would be hard to imagine Malaysia being able to stand up against the world of nations to declare a commitment to a 40 per cent emissions intensity reduction."