The Devastating Effects Of Uncontrolled Deforestation In Malaysia

1113 words - 5 pages

According to Wikipedia (2008), deforestation can be defined as the removal of a forest or stand of trees where there is land. According to the data from the United Nations (2006), Malaysia’s rate of deforestation is accelerating faster than that of any other tropical country in the world. There are countless causes and effects of deforestation on nature and its wildlife and it is essential to determine ways to overcome uncontrolled deforestation.
Due to the failure of the Malaysian government in providing figures showing the change in extent of primary forests during the period of 1990 to 2000 and 2000 to 2005, the analysis of figures from the food and agriculture organization of the ...view middle of the document...

According to the Progress report on the study on forest law enforcement and governance in Malaysia in the context of sustainable forest management by International Tropical Timber Council (2004), scientists believe that at 130 million years old, which shows that the rainforests of Taman Negara are the oldest in the world.
In the 1980s, rampant logging in the Bornean states of Sabah and Sarawak allowed Malaysia temporarily to outpace Indonesia and become the world's largest exporter of tropical wood. As far as I am concern, on paper, Malaysia has probably one of the best rainforest protection policies in Asia, but in practice logging still carries on as it always had. The majority of Malaysia's remaining forests are managed for timber production, and each state is empowered to formulate forest policies independently. During the past two decades, sustainable forest management has been non-existent. While Malaysia has the policy framework for sustainable forest management in the form of the National Forestry Act of 1984, it has failed to enforce the legislation.
Most of Malaysia's remaining primary forest exists on the island of Borneo in the states of Sabah and Sarawak, but the majority of the forest area in Sabah and Sarawak has been selectively logged, resulting in reduced biodiversity resulting in loss of habitat for wildlife and can destroy genetic variations irretrievably. According to statistics by Lonely Planet Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei (2005), Malaysia is home to some 15,500 species of higher plants, 746 birds, 300 mammals, 379 reptiles, 198 amphibians, and 368 species of fish. Loggers are now operating in more narrow areas on rugged mountain slopes. This increases the amount of runoff and reducing the protection of the soil from tree litter leading to soil erosion and mudslides. In Sabah, logging has slowed over the years after a period of rapid deforestation. Timber production appears to have shifted to neighbouring Sarawak. About 8 percent of the land area in Sarawak is supposedly designated as reserves, but these protected areas are generally understaffed and threatened by illegal logging.
Uncontrolled deforestation might lead to many other environmental problems impacting our hydrological climate because trees extract water from the ground through their roots and release it into the atmosphere. Trees will no longer be able to evaporate away this water if part of a forest is removed, thus leading to a much drier climate. Hence, deforestation is the large contributor to...

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