Malaysia’s rainforests are among the most diverse on the planet. A key environmental asset, forests contribute to climate stability, protect water and soil resources, as well as sustain a diverse ecosystem of flora and fauna.
To ensure the perpetual sustainability of our forests, Malaysia made the pledge at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to maintain at least 50% of its total land area under forest cover.
Today, almost three decades later, we have not reneged on that pledge as currently, 55.3% of the country’s total land area of 18.27 million hectares is covered with forests. Out of this total forested area, 10.92 million hectares are Permanent Reserve Forests, and 3.31 million hectares are totally protected areas. This represents the nation’s will and commitment to conserve and sustainably manage our forest, its flora and fauna.
At the same time, the forests also provide a large variety of useful materials, ranging from medicinal plants and food to fibre and timber.A renewable resource when managed carefully, the forests will continue to provide for our nation indefinitely as a crucial pillar of the economy. These are forest-based resources that we all use in our daily lives, even if we don’t usually make the connection that forests are linked intrinsically to the way we live.
As such, the sustainable management and use of such resources are key to combat climate change and to contribute to the prosperity and wellbeing of current and future generations of Malaysians.
Working towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030, Malaysia remains committed to sustainable forest management that is environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable, in order to ensure the long-term future of its forests and forest products and to meet a growing market demand for sustainably produced timber products.
To do so, the country undertakes conservation and environmental protection through a range of measures anchored in sustainable forest management, such as the establishment of forest plantations to help alleviate the burden on our natural forests in creating a consistent supply of raw materials for the timber industry.