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
|All Rafflesia species
Prohibited Species in Sabah
|Part II – Protected Plants
|Engkabang langai bukit
|All Ficus species
|Tapang / Tualang
|Menggris / Kempas
|Kayu gahru, engkaras (I)
|All Rhododendron species
|All Nepenthes species
|Periok Kera /Pitcher plants
|All Orchidaceae species
|Tongkat cili, sengkayap
|Kayu hujan panas
|All Monophyllaea species
|All peat swamp species of Madhuca
|Paku gajah, paku laut
|All epiphytic Lycopodium species
|All Begonia species
|Riang, telinga gajah
|All Aeschynanthus species
|All Cyrtandra, /Didymorcarpus species
|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
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
|All Mangifera spp.
|Assam family – Mangga or Macang Hutan
|All Durio spp.
|Triomma, Dacryodes and Canarium spp.
|All Kedondong species
|Shorea pinanga, Shorea amplexicaulis, Shorea pilosa,Shorea mecistopteryx, Shorea cristata, Shorea macrophylla
|All Dracontomelon spp.
|All Lansium spp.
|All Baccaurea spp.
|Tampoi, Rambai and Belimbing Hutan
|All Nephelium spp.
|Meritam and Rambutan