Towards achieving MDG 7 in Malaysia: Enhancing Biodiversity and Carbon Stocks though REDD+

Feb 12, 2012

To reach our national goal of reducing emissions, there is a need to implement REDD+ in Malaysia,” said Dato Dr Abdul Rahim, Deputy Secretary General (Environmental Management), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, in his opening of the REDD+ National Readiness workshop in Kuala Lumpur 13th – 14th February this year. In his address, he underlined that deforestation stands for a significant share of the global GHG emissions. He noted that Malaysia accounts for 0.6% of global emissions, and although the national deforestation rates have been stabilized, emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in the country still represents 30% of national emissions. 

Participants from Malaysian states, federal departments and ministries, NGOs, as well as representatives from the region, got together for the inception workshop to kick-start the UNDP and Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment project called ‘National REDD+ Readiness’. The project aims at establishing the institutional, legal and policy frameworks for REDD+ implementation, as well as looking at how a sustainable financing or funding mechanism could work to enhance and expand the sustainable forest management practices in the country.

Regional lessons learned were presented and discussed, as well as approaches to community involvement though principles of Free Prior Informed Consent. Best practices related to Benefit Distribution and Monitoring, Reporting and Verification were elaborated. Safeguards as biodiversity were further highlighted. Another point that was tinted out was the importance of transparency and accountability at every level of the process, especially when REDD+ will reach its implementation phase in which carbon will be traded. This is the first time that a national REDD+ workshop that involved such a variety of stakeholders has ever been organized in Malaysia.

“By mapping and drawing out the institutional arrangement, we will look at the roles of the different implementing agencies. REDD+ is a cross-cutting issue, which will have 4 different ministries work together with 6 agencies. Through this project, the process will identify the role of the different agencies, ministries, private sectors, NGOs and local communities,” said Dr. Elizabeth Philip from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. “The project will provide recommendations on policy or law improvements and offer options for a funding system, in line with the sustainable development agenda” she added. 

Dr. Samsuddin Musa from the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) said that incentives such as REDD+ could ensure that forest are protected and managed to enhance its sequestration potential, biodiversity and carbon storage.

A national committee on REDD+ is already established and will overlook the implementation of project,. They will ensure that the outcomes of this specific initiative under the parole of sustainable development will feed into crosscutting policies and programmes, both to reverse the loss of biodiversity, and to contribute to the global fight against Climate Change through Sustainable Forest Management and carbon stock enhancement.

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