Forest Life


Introduction


The overall area of Malaysia is approximately 330,000 square KM (gov.my) subject to the climate of Tropical East Asia; a forest climate which “…without human impact, would be covered in some sort of forest” (Corlett, 2014, p.22). Garrett Hardin described, in a 1968 paper, a concept to help understand natural resource use in general, and forestry in particular; “The Tragedy of the Commons” relates to the conflict between individuals pursuing their own self-interest and the existence of mutually beneficial resources of a society. The degree, structure and plausibility of sustainable forest management depends upon multi-faceted aspects of a particular nation including the degree of poverty, maturity of agricultural practices and level of corruption. Palo and Lehto (2012) note that in Malaysia the replacement of forest with rubber and oil palm was already well underway by the mid nineteen seventies. Thus, not only corruption, but institutional and socio-economic processes affect biodiversity, particularly related to forestry.
Trade-offs between sustainability and gross domestic product have often been used as justification for depletion of natural resources worldwide: Indeed, more than most tropical countries, the exploitation of tin, rubber and palm oil under stable political systems in Malaysia has allowed development and alleviation of poverty (Palo and Lehto, 2012, p354). This topic examines some aspects of forests applicable to many territories in the world but with particular focus on Malaysia.




Completion Requirements

  • Explore all topic, themes and concepts
  • Read the core texts identified in the Books section

Learning Outcomes

  • Define the principal forest types within Malaysia
  • Identify Malaysia’s forest resources
  • Assess the relationship between forestry, timber and palm oil

Websites

    References

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    • Acosta, L.A., 2000. Rice and Corn, and the Asean Free Trade Area Agreement, in: Tilburg, A. van, Moll, H.A.J., Kuyvenhoven, A. (Eds.), Agricultural Markets Beyond Liberalization. Springer US, pp. 253–277.
    • Agus et al, 2013. Historical CO2 emissions from land use and land use change from the oil palm industry in Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea [WWW Document]. Tropenbos International. URL http://www.tropenbos.org/publications/historical+co2+emissions+from+land+use+and+land+use+change+from+the+oil+palm+industry+in+indonesia,+malaysia+and+papua+new+guinea (accessed 11.13.15).
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    • Monteiro, W.R., Lopes, U.V., Clement, D., 2009. Genetic Improvement in Cocoa, in: Jain, S.M., Priyadarshan, P.M. (Eds.), Breeding Plantation Tree Crops: Tropical Species. Springer New York, pp. 589–626.
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    • Palo, M., Lehto, E., 2012. Deforestation in the Tropics, in: Private or Socialistic Forestry? Springer Netherlands, pp. 253–409.
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