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Is Logging Legal in Malaysia

The return of timber exports has raised fears of an increase in legal and illegal logging in the state. More than 80 percent of the state`s lowland forests have been completely or partially cut down since the 1970s, but data from Global Forest Watch suggests that primary forest loss in the state has declined in recent years. After peaking at 27,900 hectares (68,900 acres) in 2014, primary forest loss has steadily decreased to 10,900 hectares (26,900 acres) in 2019 and 7,600 hectares (18,800 acres) in 2020. Ramin (Gonystylus spp.) Ramin is a highly valued and popular tree for use as decorative wood for furniture and interior design. Others use it for the production of veneer and plywood. Deforestation of its natural habitat is the main driver of its decline, and this is due to the overexploitation of illegal logging for international trade. Concern was expressed that illegal ramin harvesting in Indonesia and illegal trade between Indonesia and Malaysia were also having an impact on the Malaysian population. The CITES rating for ramin applies to all parts and derivatives except seeds; seedlings or tissue cultures obtained in vitro in solid or liquid media and transported in sterile containers; and artificially propagated cut flowers of plants. In Malaysia, 19 different species of Gonystylus are recorded, each with a harvest quota of 10,000 cubic meters. However, quotas do not always apply to all regions (e.g. Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah or Sarawak). The national government is responsible for trade policy related to forest products and provides technical advice on forest issues to states through the National Lands (Forestry) Council.

The main federal agency responsible for forest policy is the Ministry of the Environment of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Thirteen Malaysian states have jurisdiction over their lands, forests, fisheries, agriculture and water resources, including the power to decide (through their own forestry departments) on the management, management, use and allocation of their forest resources. Therefore, in order to ensure the legality of products, all production of timber and timber products must comply with the policy of both levels of government. While each state has the power to create its own forest laws, Malaysia has two main forest policies. The National Forest Act of 1984 and the National Forest Policy of 1978 and all subsequent amendments are the two most important laws relating to forestry activities in Malaysia. These guidelines aim to ensure that forest management areas are protected from illegal logging, unauthorized settlements and other illegal activities. In the states, namely Sabah and Sarawak, different laws reflect the need to protect forest management areas from unauthorized activities in different ways. As the largest states and with the largest forest cover, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with the laws and policies of Sabah and Sarawak. In Sabah, the State Forest Policy of 1954 and the Forest Promulgation Policy of 1968 are the dominant laws of the State. Similarly, the Sarawak Forest Policy Declaration of 1954 and the Forest Ordinance of 1954 (i.e. Chapter 126, Parts II (Forest Reserves) and Part III (Protected Forests)) regulate operations in Sarawak. In the jurisdiction of state governments over forests, a key element is their power to change the classification of land and thus the legal actions that can be taken there.

Jayakumar, a dentist turned politician, identified the main threats to Malaysia`s forests such as illegal logging and plantation expansion. Adrian Lasimbang, technical adviser to the Indigenous Peoples Network of Malaysia, condemned the plan to resume raw wood exports as “counterproductive” and said the timber industry was no longer boosting the state`s economy because many of its forests had already been cleared: “We have basically cut down all our forests in the last few decades. The Malaysian territory consists of about two-thirds of forests, but is also home to many mangroves and peat forests. In 2010, Malaysia`s national forest area was 20.46 million hectares, or about 62% of its total area and more than 56% in 2007. Unfortunately, Malaysia`s forest area has fallen to nearly 18.5 million hectares (56.4% of land area) in one year.