Commitment to Sustainability

Malaysia's Federal State - Constitutional System
Malaysia is run by a federal system of government, operating within three geographical demarcations – Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak. There are a total of 13 states in Malaysia: Sabah and Sarawak make up two states, while the other 11 states are located in Peninsular Malaysia.

The administrative power, jurisdiction and responsibilities are shared between the federal and state governments. At the federal level, matters related to forest management are governed and/or dealt with by two Ministries – the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (upstream), and the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (downstream).

The 13 state governments have jurisdiction over agriculture, land and soil conservation, rivers, water and forest resources as provided by the Malaysian Constitution. There is a common set of laws and regulations for forest management adopted by the 11 states of Peninsular Malaysia. Sabah and Sarawak have their own similar set of rules.
How Are Forests Managed Under The Federal-State System In Malaysia?
The forestry and timber industries play a very important role in the socio-economic development of Malaysia. Apart from the 13 state governments, there are many institutions and agencies responsible for forest management, and the development of the timber industry. They work closely together to ensure that SFM practices are practised. The key agencies are the forestry departments, the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB), the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation, the Sarawak Forestry Corporation, the Malaysian Timber Council and the Malaysian Timber Certification Council.

Below are some of the examples of the amendments to the National Forestry Act 1984 with regard to Illegal Logging Offences and the fines imposed on persons who are found guilty.

Annual Allowable Cut in the Permanent Reserved Forest (ha/year)
Malaysian Plan (MP) Pen. Malaysia Sabah Sarawak Total
6th MP (1991-1995) 52,000 30,000 96,000 178,000
7th MP (1996-2000) 46,000 60,000 170,000 276,000
8th MP (2001-2005) 42,870 60,000 170,000 272,870
9th MP (2006-2010) 36,940 60,000 170,000 266,940
10th MP (2011-2015) 39,833 60,000 155,000 249,833
11th MP (2016-2020)        

The forestry and timber industries play a very important role in the socio-economic development of Malaysia. Because of this, alongside the 13 states, there are many institutions and agencies responsible for forest management, and timber industry development. They work closely together to ensure best practices towards SFM. The key agencies are the different forestry departments, the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB), the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation, the Sarawak Forestry Corporation, the Malaysian Timber Council and the Malaysian Timber Certification Council.

Categories of Illegal Logging Under the National Forestry Act 1984 (amended 1993)
Category 1 : Covers offences involving logging without license, logging outside licensed area and unauthorized construction of infrastructure and forest roads

Category 2 : Covers encroachment of forest reserves for agriculture activities and settlement

Category 3 : Covers other forest offences that involve felling of unmarked trees, cutting trees below the cutting limit, unlicensed workers, contractors with no valid sub-license, unregistered machinery plus other breaches of rules and regulations committed within and outside the forest reserve

Examples of amendments to the National Forestry Act 1984 with regard to Illegal Logging Offences. Fines imposed on persons found guilty under:

Reference National Forestry Act 1984 National Forestry Act (Amended) 1993
Sect. 15 Crime: Unlicensed removal of forest produce from PRF or Stateland
(2) and (3) Original:RM10,000 or imprisonment not > 3 years or both fine & imprisonment Original:A sum not > 5 times royalty, premium, cess & other charges in respect of forest produce unlawfully taken; and (a) a sum not > 3 times the value of such forest produce Amended:RM500,000 or imprisonment not < 1 year but not > 20 years Amended:A sum not > 10 times royalty, premium, cess & other charges in respect of forest produce unlawfully taken (a): a sum not > 10 times the value of such forest produce
Sect. 47(4) Crime: Entry into Closed Forests
Original:A fine not > RM500 or imprisonment not > 3 months or both fine & imprisonment Amended:A fine not > RM10,000 or imprisonment not > 3 years or both fine & imprisonment
Sect.50(4) Crime: Use of forest roads without road permit
Original:A fine not > RM250 Amended:A fine not > RM10,000
Sect. 66(4)Sect. 67(2) Crime: Removal of forest produce from PRF before measurement (for payment of royalty, premium, cess & other charges) Crime: Removal of forest produce from other categories of land before measurement
Original: A fine not > RM5,000 or imprisonment for not > 2 years or both fine & imprisonment Amended:A fine not > RM50,000 or imprisonment for not > 5 years or both fine & Imprisonment
Sect. 68 Crime: No Removal Pass for forest produce taken out of forest
Original:A fine not > RM5,000 or imprisonment for not > 2 years or both fine & imprisonment Amended:(a) No Removal Pass A fine not > RM50,000 or imprisonment for not > 5 years or both fine & Imprisonment (b) Failure to produce Removal Pass for inspection A fine not > RM10,000 or imprisonment for not > 3 years or both fine & Imprisonment
Sect. 85 Crime: No Removal Pass for interstate movement of forest produce
Original:A fine not > RM500 or imprisonment for not > 3 months or both fine & imprisonment Amended:A fine not > RM50,000 or imprisonment for not > 5 years or both fine & imprisonment
How Does Malaysia Balance Conservation Of Forests And Its Conversion For Infrastructure, Industry And Agriculture?
Malaysia has protected forest areas that have been legally gazetted by law. These protected areas cover both terrestrial and marine environments. Almost half of the total land area or 14.55 million ha in Malaysia is protected under Permanent Reserved Forests (PRFs) and are managed for their economic, social, and conservation values. In 2014, about 79.6 percent of the total PRFs were set aside for sustainable management of timber, whilst the remaining areas are strictly protected as Protection Forests, Virgin Jungle Reserves and Conservation Areas.

In addition, the protected area network has been further extended by the gazetting of National and State Parks, Wildlife Reserves, Bird and Game Sanctuaries. Taman Negara or the National Park (in Peninsular Malaysia), for example, is home to a virgin jungle and offers spectacular scenic beauty and incredible biodiversity. Wildlife Reserves also protect forests on entire highland plateaus, such as the Cameron Highlands Wildlife Sanctuary, and on secluded islands, such as the Tioman Wildlife Reserve. Transboundary protected areas extend into the bordering nation of Indonesia to ensure that critical habitats are not fragmented. UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Malaysia like the Mulu Caves National Park (Sarawak), the Kinabalu Park (Sabah), Tasek Bera and Tanjung Piai (Peninsular Malaysia), and wetlands designated by the international Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, are testimony to the fact that Malaysian protected areas are of international standards.

In summary, a network of Totally Protected Areas (TPAs) guarantees the protection of forest areas such as National and state parks
  • Wetlands
  • Wildlife and bird sanctuaries
  • Virgin Jungle Reserves
  • Protection forests
  • Marine parks
Within the PRF, harvesting is only allowed in the production forest. Each state is required by law to draw up Forest Management Plans based on the concept of rational land use and multiple functions of the forests. These are
  • conservation of adequate forest areas for protection of flora and fauna, recreation, education and research
  • sound climatic condition
  • safeguarding water supplies and soil fertility, minimizing flood damage and erosion
  • an adequate supply of forest products in perpetuity
Malaysia continues to safeguard its valuable national reserves and forests through these policies. Periodic reviews of current systems ensure that there are good policies to mitigate potential threats from industrialization and/or economic growth and progress.

Protected Areas in Peninsular Malaysia
No. Protected Areas Size (ha) Date of establishment
1 Endau Kluang Wildlife Reserve 52,493 25.10.1933
2 Four Islands Wildlife Reserve N.A 07.10.1954
3 Nine Islands Wildlife Reserve N.A 04.04.1971
4 Tanjung Tuan Wildlife Reserve 61 04.02.1971
5 Port Dickson Islands Wildlife Reserve N.A 15.10.1926
6 Krau Wildlife Reserve 61 15.06.1923
7 Pahang Tua Wildlife Reserve N.A 07.01.1954
8 Pulau Tioman Wildlife Reserve 62,396 13.09.1984
9 Batu Gajah Wildlife Reserve 1,335 20.05.1952
10 Chior Wildlife Reserve 9,455 27.03.1903
11 Sungkai Wildlife Reserve 4 05.12.1940
12 Bukit Kutu Wildlife Reserve 4,330 29.12.1922
13 Fraser’s Hill Wildlife Reserve 2,468 07.04.1922
14 Klang Gate Wildlife Reserve 1,943 06.03.1936
15 Kuala Selangor Hill Wildlife Reserve 2,979 05.04.1922
16 Bukit Sungai Puteh Wildlife Reserve 130 04.11.1932
17 Singai Dusun Wildlife Reserve 4330 11.06.1964
Total 142,003
Source: Department of Wildlife & National Parks

Reserves gazetted under the National Land Code:
State Reserve Date of Gazettement Size (ha)
Kelantan Pulai Deer 21.12.1993 127
Melaka Zoo Melaka 31.03.1983 21
Pahang Endau Rompin Wildlife 17.07.1986 40,197
Pahang Fraser’s Hill 31.10.1957 2,000
Pahang Tasik Bera Ramsar 13.10.1994 26,000
Pahang Tasik Chini 07.12.1985 5,085
Perak Bota Kanan Tuntung 07.12.1989 6
Perlis Wang Pinang Wildlife 27.06.1984 68
Source: Department of Wildlife & National Parks

Peninsular Malaysia State Enactments on Habitat Conservation
Various States in Peninsular Malaysia have enacted State legislation on habitat conservation. Most of this legislation takes the form of the establishment of parks:
Peninsular Malaysia State Enactment on Habitat Conservation
State Legislation Park Size (ha)
Pahang Taman Negara National Park Enactment Taman Negara 248,121
Kelantan Taman Negara National Park Enactment Taman Negara 80,250
Terengganu Taman Negara National Park Enactment Taman Negara 103,082
Johor National Parks (Johor) Enactment Endau Rompin 48,905
Perak Belum State Park Corporation Enactment Royal Belum 117,500
Selangor State Park Corporation Enactment Selangor Heritage Park 107,000
Where Does Malaysia's Forestry and Environmental Policies Stand Globally?
Malaysia's environmental policies and SFM have been reviewed and endorsed by governments of leading timber importing countries, and also by independent international agencies, and there is continuous verification to ensure Malaysia's policies are internationally benchmarked.

Malaysia is also a member of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), an international organization promoting the conservation and sustainable management of timber, use and trade of tropical timber resources. With Malaysian timber policies and practices in line with ITTO Objective 2000, SFM has been accepted as a national commitment. The fact that Malaysia’s forests are well-managed has been repeatedly recognized and acknowledged by ITTO*.

With broad policies formulated in close consultation with leading institutions from around the world, Malaysia's forest management policies and its certification scheme are continually benchmarked against established international criteria, practices and standards.

Malaysia's commitment to environmental protection is articulated and reinforced in every progressive five-year Development Plan. The approach adopted by Malaysia is to move towards a more integrated and holistic management of her natural resources. Malaysia has also ratified a number of international environmental protection treaties.

Malaysia has also ratified a number of international environmental protection treaties, which are as follows:

Status of Implementation of International Environmental Protection Treaties in Malaysia
Treaty Date of Accession Status of Implementation
Convention on the Protection of Wetlands of International Importance especially for Waterfowl Habitat, 1971 (RAMSAR Convention) 20.12.1994 Malaysia has gazetted a number of RAMSAR sites including mangroves and other wetlands.
Convention on the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage, 1972 (World Heritage Convention) 07.12.1988 One terrestrial site has been declared a World Heritage Area but no marine site yet.
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, 1973 (CITES) 20.10.1977 National instrument of implementation is the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which will be replaced by the International Trade in Endangered Species Act 2008 by end of 2009.
International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 as amended by the Protocol of 1978 (MARPOL 73/78) 28.01.1997 National Legislation still being drafted.
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 14.10.1996 Enabling legislation includes Exclusive Economic Act, 1984 and the Fisheries Act, 1985.
Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, 1987 (Montreal Protocol) 29.08.1989 Programmes to replace CFC-based substances are ongoing.
Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundry Movement of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, 1989 (Basel Convention) 08.10.1993 Enabling legislation is the Environmental Quality Act, 1978.
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 1992 (UNFCC) 13.07.1994 Ongoing programmes.
United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, 1982 (UNCBD) 24.06.1994 Enabling instruments include the National Policy on Biological Diversity, Wildlife Protection Act and Fisheries Act.
* In the 1995 Mid-Term Review on Progress towards the Achievement of the Year 2000 Objective; reaffirmed by ITTO in the Review of Progress Towards the Year 2000 Objective in 2000 and in a subsequent ITTO report, Status of Tropical Forest Management (2005).

Source: Mohd Nizam Basiron, Malaysia: Status of Implementation of International Regional, Sub-Regional and Bilateral Treaties Related to the Protection of the Marine Environment in the South China Sea, Centre for Coastal and Marine Environment, Maritime Institute of Malaysia, May 2004.
How Is Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Practised in Malaysia?
With more than a century of forest management experience, sustainability has long been a commitment of the various timber and forest agencies in the country. Malaysia has developed an extensive set of Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management (MC&I), to assess progress at the national and forest management unit levels. In 1999, with the support from the German Agency for Technical Cooperation, Malaysia finalised a set of internal assessment procedures for monitoring, evaluating and reporting on sustainable forest management procedures.

In Malaysia, SFM involves certain practices that ensure the following objectives are met:
  • Efficient and economic harvesting, utilization, reforestation and sustained yield; and
  • Biologically, ecologically and environmentally sustainable forest development.
How SFM is carried out in Malaysia is as follows:
  • There must be a proper pre-felling forest inventory carried out by Forestry Department staff. This is where trees that are big enough and suitable to be felled will be clearly marked.
  • 'Mother trees' that produce seeds are also clearly marked as these must never be felled.
  • After logging, a post-felling inventory is carried out by Forestry Department staff to determine the status of the forest stand.
  • Appropriate silvicultural treatments will be applied in the process of rehabilitating the logged-over forest area. This will help the forests regenerate and return to their former state of eco-balance more quickly.
  • It may require another 25 – 30 years before that particular forest compartment could be harvested again. By this time, having had enough sunlight from the opening of the forest canopy, the smaller trees will have grown big enough for felling and the whole cycle could be repeated.
That is how the Malaysian forests are maintained as a perpetual source of timber and other forest products. However, as forestry is a state matter in Malaysia, there may be variation in execution of the above. However, the general principles of SFM form the basis of forestry management activities in all states in Malaysia.

SFM takes into account forest boundary demarcation, forest pre- and post-felling inventories, minimum cutting limits, timber tagging and tree marking, directional felling, guidelines for harvesting and post-harvest surveys, specifications for roads and buffers zones near water courses to mitigate soil erosion. In the course of implementing the selective felling system, Malaysia pays attention to related environmental management practices such as reduced impact logging, in addition to establishing forest checking stations, collection of royalty assessment and issuance of removal passes.

To rehabilitate logged-over forests that are poorly-stocked with residual trees, enrichment planting of indigenous species is carried out, especially on skid trails, temporary log yards and campsites. In certain areas, rattan and bamboo planting is carried out to provide for the needs of the local communities. Sustainable forest harvesting ensures that there is economic harvest and enough residuals for the next cutting cycle, and that species composition is maintained.

Putting SFM into practice requires substantive financial and human resources, as well as the application of new and appropriate technologies to ensure its success.
Is There A Timber Certification Scheme In Malaysia?
Timber certification is carried out by the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC), which has utilized the ITTO Criteria and Indicators (1998) and the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management (MC&I) as a basis for developing the standards used by the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS). Malaysia has been a pioneer in tropical forest certification. The MTCC was established in 1998 and started operating its scheme in 2001. In October 2016, more than 3.955 million ha of Permanent Reserved Forest in 8 Forest Management Units (FMUs) in Malaysia have been certified under the MTCS, which is the largest in the world for tropical forests.
Is The Malaysian Timber Certification Council Fully Independent?
The MTCC is an independent organisation and is governed by a Board of Trustees comprising representatives from across the timber industry, academic and research institutions, non-governmental organisations and government agencies. It provides independent assessments of forest management practices in Malaysia to meet the demand for certified timber prodcuts. The MTCC also relies on independent assessors and peer reviewers, to ensure a system of checks and balances is in place.
Is The Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme Recognised Globally?
The MTCS has become the first tropical timber certification scheme in the Asia Pacific region, and it has been endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) since 1 May 2009. It gives further assurance that forests certified under the MTCS are implementing the best management practices and contributing to the challenging efforts to achieve SFM, particularly for the Malaysian forests. PEFC endorsement means that the MTCS is mutually recognized by 27 other PEFC-endorsed certification schemes. As such, the MTCS scheme has been accepted by more than a dozen countries as providing independent assurance of legally or sustainably sourced timber.

The authorities and organisations, which have given recognition to the MTCS itself or via its PEFC-endorsement include:
  1. The Danish Ministry of the Environment;
  2. The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA);
  3. The Royal Horticultural Society of the UK;
  4. The New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry;
  5. The French Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs;
  6. The Forestry Agency, Japan;
  7. Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan;
  8. The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Germany;
  9. The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment [formerly Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment;
  10. The Keurhout System of The Netherlands, as meeting the requirements for sustainable timber.
As a PEFC-endorsed scheme, the MTCS is also recognised under ‘green’ building schemes, in Australia, Italy, Singapore, The Netherlands, UK, Canada, USA, Japan and UAE. Green Building Index (GBI) in Malaysia recognises the MTCS under its Sustainable Timber criteria.
What is The Benefit Of Certification?
Certified timber is timber that can be tracked at every stage, from its logging in the forest to the last stages of manufacture, where the consumer can be confident that sound forest management principles have been followed. Malaysia holds true to two main components to this certification process – the upholding of internationally-agreed forest management standards and of the Chain-of-Custody procedure.

The "Chain-of-Custody" procedure depicts the chain of accountability for the timber product at every stage of the production process, beginning with the forest and ending with the consumer, whereby the chain is fully traceable. Certification guidelines were built on and operationalized because certification ensures that:
  • there is continuous flow of the production of desirable quality forest products from sustainable forest resources;
  • production would neither result in undue reduction of the forest’s inherent values or future productivity nor in undesirable effects on the physical and social environment;
  • certification reflects Malaysia’s commitment to SFM; and
  • market access for Malaysian timber products, particularly in environmentally-sensitive markets, could be improved.
How Does Malaysia Ensure Participation Of Indigenous And Local Communities In Forest-Based Socio-Economic Activities?
The Malaysian government's development policy focuses heavily on rural areas. Housing, schools and healthcare facilities are built close to the villages of indigenous people so that they are not forced to move out completely from their natural habitat. Under the National Forestry Act, the indigenous peoples in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak are permitted to collect and remove non-timber forest products from the PRF, while these areas are out of bounds to others. These non-timber forest products include rattan, bamboo, honey, herbs, decorative plants, resins and materials for local crafts. Employment opportunities for local communities and indigenous people both in the upstream and downstream sectors, either as loggers, drivers, or workers in processing mills are also widely available.

In Sarawak, SFM Liaison Committees are formed in forest areas under certification. The Liaison Committee consists of the local people, the logging company, and the government departments (Resident’s Office, SFC, Forest Department Sarawak, etc).
How Does Malaysia Preserve The Habitat Of Wildlife And Protected Species?
Apart from National Parks, Wildlife Reserves and Sanctuaries, there are legal mechanisms to gazette Protection Forests within the PRF, as defined in the National Forestry Policy 1978 (Revised 1992). The National Forestry Act 1984 (Amended 1993) stipulates that no logging is allowed in these Protection Forests which are established and protected by law.

The Protection Forests in the PRF consist of:
  • Non-harvestable forest (areas above certain altitude and slopes)
  • Wildlife and bird sanctuaries
  • Virgin Jungle Reserves
  • Recreational forest
  • Catchment forest and reservoirs
  • Forest for federal purposes
A notable example of Protection Forests is the Danum Valley Conservation Area in Sabah which is an important centre for research and biodiversity conservation. In Sabah, an additional form of Protection Forests within the PRFs are known as Conservation Areas (e.g., the Maliau Basin Conservation Area). Malaysia has also established two Genetic Resource Areas in Ulu Sedili (Peninsular Malaysia) and Semenggoh Forest Reserve (Sarawak).

Furthermore, in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah, Virgin Jungle Reserves are set aside within the PRF to serve as permanent nature reserves, as controls for comparing harvested and silviculturally treated forests, as well as a resource/arboreta for ecological and botanical studies. These reserves represent many distinct virgin forests found in the country, which include Mangrove Forest, Heath Forest, Peat Swamp Forest, Lowland Dipterocarp Forest, Hill Dipterocarp Forest, Upper Dipterocarp Forest and Montane Forest.

It is also important to note that stringent parameters are prescribed for harvesting in the PRF. Cutting limits prescribed for dipterocarp and non-dipterocarp and other management prescriptions must be followed. Under the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management (2002), the protection of habitat include verifiers for protection of keystone species, salt licks, high conservation value forests, wildlife corridors and buffer zones.

Currently, in Peninsular Malaysia, there are 32 timber species that cannot be harvested within the PRF. They are conserved because of their importance to the fauna species, have medicinal values, and are used by the indigenous people. In practice, these trees are never tagged by the Forestry Department staff during the tree marking operations and thus, cannot be removed by the loggers.

Under Section 31 of Sarawak’s Wildlife Protection Ordinance, 48 protected plant species are listed as follows:

Part 1 – Totally Protected Plants
Scientific name Local Name
All Rafflesia species Bunga pakma
Dipterocarpus obloglofolius Ensurai
Part II – Protected Plants
Scientific name Local Name
Shorea macrophylla Engkabang jantong
Shorea splendida Engkabang bintang
Shorea helmsleyana Engkabang gading
Shorea simins Engkabang terendak
Shorea palembanica Engkabang asu
Shorea stenoptera Engkabang rusa
Shorea pinanga Engkabang langai bukit
Shorea ochracea Raru
All Ficus species Pokok Ara
Sonneratia alba Perepat
Sonneratia caseolaris Pedada
Avincennia alba Api-api hitam
Avincennia lanata Api-api
Avincennia marina Api-api merah
Avincennia officinalis Api-api sudu
Lumnizera littorea Teretum merah
Koompassia excelsa Tapang / Tualang
Koompassia malaccensis Menggris / Kempas
Actoxylon sympetalum Kayu gahru
Aquilaria beccariana Kayu gahru, engkaras (I)
Aquilaria malaccensis Kayu gahru
Aquilaria microcarpa Kayu gahru
Didesmandra aspera Rhu Laut
Casuarina equisetifolia
All Rhododendron species
All Nepenthes species Periok Kera /Pitcher plants
All Orchidaceae species All orchids
Salacca magnifica
Johannesteysmannia altifrons Ekor buaya
Areca borneensis Pinang
Areca jugahpunya Pinang
Pinanga mirabilis Pinang
Pichisermollia subcaulis Pinang
Licuala orbicularis Biris
Eurycoma longifolia Tongkat cili, sengkayap
Goniothalamus velutinus Kayu hujan panas
All Monophyllaea species
Antiaris toxicaria Ipoh
All peat swamp species of Madhuca Ketau
Calophyllum lanigerum Bintangor
Calophyllum teysmanii Bintangor
Cycas rumphii Paku gajah, paku laut
All epiphytic Lycopodium species Ekor tupai
All Begonia species Riang, telinga gajah
All Aeschynanthus species
All Cyrtandra, /Didymorcarpus species Melebab
All species of plant listed in Appendix I and II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), excluding those already listed in Part I

Prohibited Species in Sabah
Under Sabah enactments, the term used for protected tree species is "prohibited species".

Prohibited species means any tree marked for retention by the Director of Forestry and the following trees:
Prohibited Species in Sabah
Scientific Name Local Name
All Mangifera spp. Assam family – Mangga or Macang Hutan
All Durio spp. Durian
Triomma, Dacryodes and Canarium spp. All Kedondong species
Shorea pinanga, Shorea amplexicaulis, Shorea pilosa,Shorea mecistopteryx, Shorea cristata, Shorea macrophylla All Tengkawanag/kawang
All Dracontomelon spp. Sengkuang
All Lansium spp. Langsat
All Baccaurea spp. Tampoi, Rambai and Belimbing Hutan
Parartocarpus spp. Terap
Artocarpus dadah Buruni
Artocarpus integar Pulutan
All Nephelium spp. Meritam and Rambutan
Paranephelium nitidum Membuakat
Aquileria malaccensis Gaharu
Euphoria malaiensis Mata Kuching
Are There Specific Regulations In Malaysia To Protect The Orang Utans?
Wildlife reserves are identified and designated both within and outside the PRF for the protection of wildlife. There is a host of statutory laws governing the conservation of biological diversity, both on a species level and in terms of protection of habitats. Some of the laws are vested with the following:

Biodiversity, National Parks & Wildlife
Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Protection of Wild Life Act 1972) (National Park ct 1980) Sabah Wildlife Department (Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997) (Sabah Biodiversity Enactment 2000) Forest Department Sarawak (Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1998)
Sabah Parks (Parks Enactment 1984) Sarawak Forestry Corporation (Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1998 (National Parks & Nature Reserves Ordinance 1998)
State Cultural Heritage Council (Cultural Heritage (Conservation) Enactment 1997) Sarawak Biodiversity Council (Biodiversity Centre Ordinance 1997)
The 1998 National Policy on Biological Diversity emphasises the need for nature reserves, to preserve the home of many endangered species including the Orang Utan. Sabah, the second largest state in Malaysia, is where the highest concentrations of Orang Utan are found.

Sabah has many conservation projects such as:
  • The Sabah Biodiversity Conservation Project in 1996, which involved state agencies, Danish consultants and WWF Malaysia;
  • The Sepilok Orang-Utan Rehabilitation Centre which was gazettted under the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997;
  • The Maliau Basin Conservation Project, in 1998;
  • The conversion of the Lower Kinabatangan Basin into a wildlife sanctuary because of the ideal environment it affords to a large number of Orang Utan population (The Danish government, through its agency, DANIDA, supported the formulation of an integrated management plan for this area.)
The Sabah Wildlife Department is the agency responsible to implement the provisions of the enactment for the conservation and management of wildlife and its habitats in the state of Sabah.

In Sarawak, the protection of wildlife, and the establishment and management of sanctuaries fall under the shared jurisdiction of the state Forestry Department and the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC). The well-known Semenggoh Orang Utan Sanctuary is run by the SFC.

There are also contributions from private sector companies and independent bodies like the Malaysian Palm Oil Council, which launched a RM20 million Wildlife Conservation Fund in 2006, and whose projects include conducting an Orang Utan survey in Sabah (2008), establishing a Jungle Patrol Unit in the Sabah Forestry Department (2007 – present) and establishing a Wildlife Rescue Centre (2010 – present).

Another landmark development is the Heart of Borneo agreement, which was signed by Malaysia along with its neighbours Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam, to bring about a new level of protective conservation measures, covering a large hinterland of 220,000 square km of major reserve area. This speaks volumes of Malaysia’s commitment towards environmental protection and conservation.
If There Is An Increase In Global Demand For Tropical Timber, Would Malaysia Review Its Policies?
It is not possible to speculate on policy changes in any country. Malaysia is a parliamentary democracy and any future government in power will have to respect the mandate given to it by its electorate. However, if Malaysia’s track record or tropical forest legacy is indicative of its commitment to sustainability, then it is highly unlikely that its current achievements in relation to sustainability will be reversed in the near future. Malaysia has developed comprehensive laws, policies, procedures and schemes, which have evolved over decades in response to local and international requirements. In recognition of growing global appetite for timber products, however, and to complement timber extraction from the natural forest, Malaysia has developed more and more forest plantations.

Malaysia has embarked on a large-scale forest plantation project targeted to develop 375,000 ha of selected timber plantation species that will be managed on 15-year cycles. Meanwhile, R&D is also enabling more economical use of the existing wood resources, as well as developing other biomass sources, including coconut and oil palm trunks, fibre from oil palm fruit bunches and kenaf.

Eight Selected Species for Forest Plantation Programme in Malaysia
Scientific name Local Name
Hevea brasiliensis Malaysian Rubberwood
Acacia hybrid Akasia
Khaya ivorensis/sengalensis African Mahagony
Tectona grandis Teak
Azadirachta excelsa Sentang
Neolamarckia cadamba Kelempayan/Laran
Paraserianthes falcataria Batai
Octomelea sumatrana Binuang
What Other Measures Are Taken To Ensure Malaysia's Forest Resources Are Maintained For Perpetuity?
Over the years, a number of forestry programmes, projects and activities have been undertaken in Malaysia to fulfill the core objectives of SFM and these include:
  1. Establishing the National Forest Inventory in the 1970’s, and carried out every 10 years on all forested lands to determine the status and composition of Peninsular Malaysia’s forest resources and to facilitate better management and planning;
  2. Forest mapping using the Geographic Information System and remote sensing techniques to monitor changes that occur within the forests;
  3. Research in forest management including growth, yield and mortality studies under the various cutting regimes;
  4. Applied research in successful rehabilitation of highly degraded forest sites;
  5. Establishing Virgin Jungle Reserves (VJRs) to serve as research areas for botanical, pharmacological, phenological and genetic studies;
  6. Formulating guidelines and standards, especially the MC&I for SFM and timber certification, and
  7. Reduced Impact Logging.
Meanwhile, R&D is also enabling more economical use of the existing wood resources, as well as developing other sources such as biomass, to include coconut and oil palm trunks, discarded fibre from the oil palm fruit bunches and kenaf. Malaysia’s delicate balancing act involves ensuring a sustained supply of wood products with maintaining forest/environmental stability, clean water and biodiversity.
Are All Malaysia's Timber Exports To The Global Market Place Traceable Through Legal Practices?
Malaysia has a comprehensive forest management system to ensure that the timber industry is managed responsibly in line with SFM best practices. With due diligence and systematic documentation, each log produced can be traced to its original stump or at least to the forest of origin. Steps to further enhance verifiability for legality of source includes progressing towards 100% tree-tagging and computer tracking under a mandatory Chain-of-Custody scheme. Effective enforcement systems are in place to ensure that Malaysia’s forest agencies are supported by the Police and Customs Department to eradicate illegal forest practices. All these procedures enhance the legality of Malaysia's sustainable forest management practices
Is Malaysia Cooperating With Indonesia In Addressing Issues Like Illegal Logging And Smuggling Of Timber? What Are Malaysia’s Enforcement Measures To Handle Such Issues?
Cross-border trade between Malaysia and Indonesia is regulated through two bilateral agreements – the Border Crossing Agreement and the Border Trade Agreement 1967. Sawn timber from Indonesia is allowed to be imported into Malaysia only after the prescribed documents are produced for review. In Sarawak, entry is restricted to five designated check-points i.e., Tebedu, Biawak, Lubok Antu, Batu Lintang and Sematan. Logs from other countries, however, can be freely imported into Malaysia by licensed importers provided they originate from bona fide sources.

Any country sharing a common border with another country would have practical issues surrounding effective cross-border policing, legal trade and security. In Borneo, for example, the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah share a long common border with the Indonesian state of Kalimantan, where boundary markings are ambiguous and sometimes represented simply by stones. Nevertheless, Malaysia and Indonesia have enjoyed a long bilateral working relationship through proactive institutional cooperation to reduce or eliminate illegal trade in timber. This cooperation involves, among others, joint operations between the two countries’ customs authorities, and active participation forums such as the Pan-ASEAN Timber Certification Initiative. Malaysia and Indonesia’s respective Ministries of Forestry and relevant authorities also hold regular dialogues on the timber trade and related matters. Since 2002, in support of Indonesia’s policies, Malaysia has imposed a total ban on the import of Indonesian round logs.

While it is not possible to claim zero illegal trading, Malaysia is confident of its systems, policies and procedures which collectively enable the various forestry agencies to check on and verify the legality of timbers arriving from other countries, especially logs whose import conditions are more stringent. Entry into the country is only allowed upon the presentation of valid documents, authentic certificates of origin, phytosanitary documents and other relevant papers which are sourced from acollective inputs from the following agencies:
Sourced from a collective inputs from the following agencies:
  • Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia (FDPM)
  • Sabah Forestry Department (Sabah FD)
  • Sarawak Forest Department (Sarawak FD)
  • Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC)
  • Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB)
  • Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC)
  • Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC)