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Malaysia

Three Key Points

  • The imminent threat of climate change is felt and acknowledged
  • The impact traverses through 3 main sectors -forestry, energy (industry and transportation) and agriculture 
  • Government initiatives on environmental protection have existed through various National Policies and Acts – National Policy on Climate Change 2009

National Policies on Social Forestry

Article 74 (2) of the Malaysian Constitution:
Forestry comes under the jurisdiction of the respective State Governments.

National Forestry Policy 1978 (revised 1992):
was revised to include the importance of biological diversity conservation and the sustainable utilization of forest genetic resources, as well as the role of local communities in forest development.  

National Land Council (land, forestry & mineral):

  • Coordination & uniformity in policies
  • Resolve common problems & issues
  • Enhance cooperation between Federal and States.

Legislation
Since early 1900s, various forestry enactments and ordinances were formulated and enforced by the respective state authorities. 

Priorities of Social Forestry in National Forest Policy (NFP) Malaysia

  • NFP has recognized vital role of forest for the welfare of community and national economy through concept of multiple land use.
  • Salient points in the NFP with regards to social / community forest are to:
    • Promote active local community involvement in various forestry development projects
    • Maintain their involvement in agroforestry programs
    • Develop comprehensive program in social / community forestry to cater for the need of rural and urban community.

Role of Social Forestry in Contributing to Food Security and Addressing Climate Change

  • Contributes to socio-cultural sustainability and provision of access to additional income of the local communities
  • Conservation and protection of forest biological resources (complements biodiversity conservation, protection and rehabilitation)
  • Contributes to Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) 
  • Awareness and education to local communities on the importance 
  • of conservation
  • Enhance carbon stock by increasing the number of trees planted especially degraded forest
  • Increase food production through various agroforestry projects
  • Creating sense of ownership among local communities for their watershed areas.

Role of Social Foresty in Contributing to Sustainable Forest Management (SFM)

  • SF is one of the major components of SFM (multiple-use forestry)
  • SF has been used as the main concept to deal with forestry-local community conflicts in the state’s forest reserves
  • SF is the main tool  to enhance the standard of living and also to increase households’ income of the rural hardcore poors
  • SF is the link to involving local communities into forest conservation and restoration

Role of Social Foresty in Reducing Illicit Harvesting of Timber (Illegal Logging)

  • Through upliftment of living standard and increased economic activities of the rural poor, illegal timber harvesting by the local communities were considerably reduced.
  • Social Forestry increases the level of awareness on the importance of keeping/ conserving forest for their livelihoods (water, building materials, medicinal plants, etc.).

Key Activities of Social Forestry in Malaysia

  • Tree Planting Programme with Mangroves and Other Suitable Species along National Coastlines, invites participants from Government agencies, Local Community and NGO’s students, conduct  throughout Malaysia, since 2005 (after tsunami disaster)
  • World Forestry Day invited participants from Local community, NGO’s, students, policy makers, government agencies, Institute of higher learning and civil society. In 2013 conducted at  University Malaysia Pahang with theme “Forests  for Community  Livelihood”
  • The 26 Million Trees Planting Campaign, invites participants from Government agencies, private sectors & corporate bodies (Standard Chartered, Shaklee, Shell etc.), local communities, NGO’s and students, conducts throughout Malaysia, started 2010-2014 
  • Planting of fruit trees and Aquilaria spp. (gaharu) for the community in Ba’kelalan, invites participation of the community which is increasing every month in Ba’kelalan Sarawak
  • Planting of 12,500 seedlings at the Community Park in Bario, invites participants of Bario Community
  • Planting of gaharu trees (Aquilaria spp.) for the community in Ulu Engkari and Ulu Mujok, about 3,000 seedlings planted; invites participation of the community which is increasing every month
  • Mangkuwagu Social Forestry Project, Managed by the Sabah Forestry Department. Forest rehabilitation with 4 local communities within Mangkuwagu Forest Reserve. Capacity building and cash incentive for farm forestry works. Provision of low-cost houses, gravity water supplies, operation roads, bridges, etc. Provision of planting materials and maintenance of the rubber-agroforestry activities
  • Gana Social Forestry Project, Managed by the Sabah Forestry Department. Rubber-agroforestry with the local communities in 575 acres Stateland. Watershed restoration and protection in Gana and Lingkabau forest reserves
  • Forest Management Certification, invites participants from Policy Makers, Implementers and Regulators in level of Forest Management Unit (FMU) in Peninsular Malaysia, MC & I (Natural Forest) 2012 onwards
  • Bengkoka Social Forestry Project, Enrichment Planting & maintenance of various Dipterocarp species inside Bengkoka Forest Reserve (BFR). Forest fire training & purchase of equipment. Setting up of fire observation tower & artificial water pond. Rubber tree planting for villagers residing around BFR
  • Kelawat JFM Model Forest, Continuous silvicultural treatment, rubber-agroforestry, forest and watershed conservation. Training Site for National Training on SF Issues & Best Practices and TNC-RAFT Conflict Resolution Course visited by Erupean Union Ambassadors, local universities and Schools
  • Tamparuli Social Forestry Project, enrichment planting & maintenance. Training on Bee Keeping and provision of equipment. Various agroforestry activities. Various capacity building activities. Visited by TNC-RAFT Conflict Resolution Training Participants
  • Development of Nature Trail/Forest Trail, Primary School, SK Ba’kelalan -for awareness and environmental education.  Ecotourism purposes and  facilitate Penan community in Ulu Kubaan to come to Bario, Arur Dalan to Arur Nukul, 3km (crossing Tama Abu Range, Pulong Tau NP) –Bario to Long Lelang/Long Sabai, 16 km (crossing Tama Abu Range)- Ecotourism purposes, development is underway
  • Development of Botanical Garden at, Long Langai, Ba’kelalan- development status-underway, Bario –  development status-acquiring land from the community
  • Development of  a greenhouse structure for awareness and  environmental education program (greening program) at  SMK Bandar Sarikei
  • MESCOT (Kota Kinabatangan), Communal cooperative for eco-tourism & forest conservation. Activities - riparian conservation & planting, lake conservation, homestay, eco-tourism
  • CLEAR (Community-led Environmental Awareness for our River), Penampang, River and riparian conservation, nature education, eco-cultural activities, training, etc
  • PWET (Project Women Empowerment Trees), Pitas, Watershed conservation, micro-enterprise development, weaving revival, organic garden, capacity building
  • Winokok Conservation Forest, Bundu Tuhan, Watershed conservation, tagal system, boundary marking & monitoring.

Country Needs Concerning Social Forestry Development (Next Steps)

  • Enhancing the capacity of the local communities in order to reduce their dependency towards forest and government
  • Funding for study visits and attachment training in successful social forestry sites
  • Enhancing the capacity of local forest managers/staffs on various Social Forestry aspects