Utilizing the sustainable forest management (SFM) practices in Peninsular Malaysia under the REDD+ mechanism in mitigating the climate change
Malaysia is in the process of developing a National REDD strategy which requires much needed baseline data on the status of deforestation and degradation in the country. In accordance of that, Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) has awarded by International Timber Trade Organization (ITTO) to implement a new project under Thematic Programme on Reducing Deforestation and Forest Degradation and Enhancing Environmental Services in Tropical Forests (REDDES). This project is expected to provide some critical baseline data to support the development of the National REDD strategy.
The three years project (begin 2013) entitled Reducing Forest Degradation and Emissions through Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) in Peninsular Malaysia is generally to utilize SFM as a mitigation tool in combating climate change. As deforestation rate is stable in Malaysia, the emissions to be accounted for REDD+ mechanism under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) would probably come from the reduction of forest degradation in Peninsular Malaysia. The specific objective of this project is to improve knowledge on reduction of forest degradation and enhance payments for ecosystem services (PES). Assessment of national forest degradation could be done based on identification of drivers and documentation of the forestry data supporting the cause of forest degradation. As a note, the REDD+ mechanism under the UNFCCC that currently being discussed, would provide an incentive that may encourage implementation of improved management practices to reduce forest degradation in the tropical forests.
Besides FRIM as executing agency, other major players for this project are Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) and Forestry Department of Peninsular Malaysia (FDPM) including Pahang State Forestry Department (FD Pahang). Pahang is selected as project site due to significant contribution of forestry sector to its economy and social development. Pahang has largest forest areas in Peninsular Malaysia comprises all major forest types. In addition, there are some communities dependants to the forest resources, in particular the orang asli. Good collaboration with FDPM and FD Pahang in conducting this project has been made as they also involved as project’s team since beginning of this project of early 2013.
The project is indeed among pilot projects of REDD+ related project order to Malaysia to enhance its readiness to full implementation of REDD+, once the mechanism take place in this country. The implementation of the project is expected to enable better integration climate change requirements into current forest management and practices. In general, the project will assess the current management practices based on the SFM in terms of its total carbon storage. In addition, improved silvicultural and management prescriptions will be introduced to further enhance the total carbon stock. The amount of total carbon stock based on the SFM practices in this country is the critical baseline information for incentive calculation under the REDD+ mechanism. The project will also evaluate the economy aspect for PES; carbon stock, watershed and livelihood (forest dependant community).
The REDD+ mechanism is based national level and therefore the reporting should be at the national level that covering whole country. Nevertheless, the project outputs are easily to be utilized for calculating carbon storage in other states, in particular in Peninsular Malaysia as they are having the same forest management system. This project will provide opportunities to enhance the value of the forests and promote the SFM in Malaysia as the best management practices of tropical forests. Ultimately, this project will also complement other REDD+ related projects conducted in Malaysia and the current efforts by government of Malaysia to develop REDD strategy. Hence, Malaysia can gain important experience in conducting REDD+ at the sub-national level (state of Pahang) thus supports Malaysia’s commitment under the UNFCCC.
The mangroves, peat swamp and hill forests are the major tropical forests in Malaysia that has been managed in sustainable basis. They storing large amount of carbon and therefore utilize this forest sound management practices under the REDD+ mechanism is an opportunity for further improve their management and conservation.
Photos 4-6: The Inception Workshop of this project on 12 March 2012 attended by all main stakeholders.
Project Support Unit (PSU),
Natural Forest Program,
Forestry & Environment Division,
Forest Research Institute Malaysia,
Selangor Darul Ehsan,
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