Thematic Issues
Forest biodiversity

Forest biodiversity in Malaysia consists of lowland evergreen forest, lowland dipterocarp forest, heath forests, limestone forests, mixed dipterocarp forests, hill dipterocarp forests and hill mixed dipterocarp forest.

Malaysia is committed to maintain at least 50% of her land area under forest and tree cover in perpetuity as pledged under the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. This is attained through the protection of forests and the application of Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) practices. In 2012, approximately 18.01 million hectares or 54.5% of Malaysia remains forested. Of this area, approximately 14.5 million hectares have been designated as PRF/PFE. With regards to land capability and overall land use, it is noted that there is a need for further development to meet the requirements of a growing population and the country’s socio economic development agenda.

Malaysia has benefited tremendously from her forest resources. The rich diversity of the forests has contributed direct economic benefits derived from timber products and other non-timber forest produce. Certain indigenous plants, animals and their derivatives have long been used in traditional medicine by various ethnic and indigenous groups in Malaysia.

The total export earnings from timber and timber products in 2012 amounted to US$6.16 billion. The forestry sector contributed US$2.93 billion or one percent to Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of US$286.96 billion in 2012. In 2012, the forestry sector in Peninsular Malaysia provided direct employment to 37,443 persons in various industries.

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