Malaysia’s Forest Pledges and The Bornean State of Sarawak: A Policy Perspective | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
January 2023
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
LP-midp003303
Copyright details: 
© 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article

Malaysia deforested 6.3 million hectares since independence; 91% of which occurred before Malaysia pledged, at the Earth Summit in 1992, to maintain a minimum 50% of its terrestrial area under forest cover. However, under economic and population pressure, Sarawak—the largest contributing state to the country’s current forest cover of 54.8%—shows continuing deforestation even after 1992. This paper reviews land use policies underpinned by economic development and environmental protection considerations, land rights issues that complicate land use planning, and legislation that regulates land use change. The objective is to investigate the adequacy of existing policies and legislation in governing forest cover in Sarawak and to recommend improvement measures. If the Sarawak Land Use Policy that allocates seven million hectares for forest is realized, Malaysia’s forest cover would drop to 53%, assuming other states maintain their forests. It is recommended that legislation governing the designation of permanent forest and conversion of forest for other land use to be strengthened, civil society to be enlisted to enhance knowledge level, and carbon credit production to be promoted as alternative land use that keeps forests standing. With these measures, it is hopeful that Malaysia’s aspirations regarding forest cover can be achieved.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Koh, JaneJohari, ShazaliShuib, AhmadSiow, May L.Matthew, Nitanan K.

Corporate Author(s): 
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    MDPI AG, a publisher of open-access scientific journals, was spun off from the Molecular Diversity Preservation International organization. It was formally registered by Shu-Kun Lin and Dietrich Rordorf in May 2010 in Basel, Switzerland, and maintains editorial offices in China, Spain and Serbia. MDPI relies primarily on article processing charges to cover the costs of editorial quality control and production of articles. Over 280 universities and institutes have joined the MDPI Institutional Open Access Program; authors from these organizations pay reduced article processing charges.

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