Improving Connectivity in the Central Forest Spine (CFS) Landscape - IC-CFS

What is the project about?


Malaysia has been designated as a mega-diverse country. The Central Forest Spine (CFS) of Peninsular Malaysia, composed of four main forest complexes, is an important natural landscape of Malaysia, supplying 90% of the population’s water supply and harbouring the remaining population of Malayan tigers in its forests.

As knowledge of the values of its biodiversity and ecosystem services increases in Malaysia, there is greater incorporation of these aspects in national policies and plans. Due to Malaysia’s comprehensive national economic and development plans, its economy is fast growing; however, capacity and resources for effective implementation of plans related to biodiversity and ecosystem conservation are currently not sufficient for ensuring that this does not suffer in the process of Malaysia’s development.

Development activities such as the establishment of planted forests have significantly reduced the extent of primary forest within the landscape and are putting ecosystem services at risk; biodiversity monitoring systems are not sufficient in measuring the impacts of these activities on the natural environment; wildlife and forestry law-enforcement mechanisms are failing to adequately protect species such as the tiger from poaching and illegal trade as well as control the illegal harvesting of forest resources such as agarwood.

The Federal Government of Malaysia has two plans in place for helping to protect biodiversity and ecosystem services. The CFS Master Plan (CFSMP), formulated following the first National Physical Plan (NPP) in 2005 aims to increase the integrity of the CFS through conserving and rehabilitating critical linkages in between each complex. The National Tiger Conservation Action Plan (NTCAP) aims specifically to conserve the national emblem of Malaysia, the Malayan tiger. This Global Environment Facility (GEF)-funded project, Improving Connectivity in the Central Forest Spine (IC-CFS), aims to conserve biodiversity and ecosystem services in three key forest landscapes identified to be both critical tiger conservation areas in the NTCAP as well as priority linkage areas in the CFSMP. For the purposes of this project, biodiversity will be defined using the GEF definition: ‘the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species, and of ecosystems’.

What do we hope to accomplish?


The IC-CFS project will a) strengthen the institutional capacity of the federal and state governments and other relevant agencies to implement the CFSMP and the NTCAP in these landscapes so that connectivity between forest complexes can be enhanced and law enforcement against wildlife and forestry crime can be intensified; b) build upon current land management plans in the three landscapes to ensure that biodiversity and ecosystem service values are accounted for and that all planned land uses are sustainable; and c) set up sustainable financing mechanisms for the conservation of the CFS, for example by implementing Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes, in order to mainstream biodiversity into development plans.

The successful completion of the IC-CFS project in these landscapes will enhance and strengthen current efforts to implement the CFSMP and NTCAP and will provide an example for best practice for sustainable landscape management elsewhere in Malaysia and beyond.

The project will realise synergetic impacts from Biodiversity (BD), Land Degradation (LD) and Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) investments through capacity building for biodiversity and ecosystem monitoring and law enforcement; sustainable landscape management; and the diversification and increased sustainability of financing sources for conservation management.

Who finances it?

Year Donor Amount (USD)
2014 GEF $83,459.77
2015 GEF $581,000

Delivery in previous fiscal year

Year Donor Amount (USD)
2014 GEF
2015 GEF $154,881

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