This post was originally published on June 4, 2021 and updated on October 19, 2021.

In line with global goals, Malaysia has enhanced sustainable forest management and mainstreamed biodiversity programs into its socio-economic development agenda, post-2020. One such initiative is partnering with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to establish WWF-Malaysia’s Forest for Life Program. This organization works to improve forest preservation and management practices, paying particular attention to the restoration of degraded areas where critical corridors are required by wildlife for safe travel throughout their habitats. 

The WWF’s Forest Conversion Initiative works with producers, investors and retailers around the world to ensure that expansion of oil palm plantations does not threaten High Conservation Value Forests. New technologies, such as radar and drone flights, have been applied to ensure that such mandates are followed, even in remote regions of Malaysia.

Among other environmental initiatives are a pledge to increase Totally Protected Areas from 13.2% to 20% by 2025, as set out in the National Policy on Biological Diversity and a five-year 100 million trees planting campaign. Mandatory regulations under the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification scheme have restricted the planting of oil palm on peatland and in permanent forest reserves. The scheme also encourages efforts to enhance the oil palm yield, instead of expanding cultivation, and this has shown significant results.

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