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Protecting Rare Tree Species in Malaysia: Strengthening Procedures for Monitoring in Jerangau HCVF Area and Beyond

D sarawakensisWith the conservation of biodiversity and rare species integral to sustainable forest management, we are supporting the development of monitoring and conservation procedures for endangered species in Peninsular Malaysia.

The Jerangau Forest Reserve in the district of West Terengganu, Malaysia, is home to many rare and endangered plant species. In 2008, the Terengganu State Forest Department (FD) established a 63 hectare High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF) in the reserve to protect a population of Dipterocarpus sarawakensis, a rare tree species only found in Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo, and listed as critically endangered in Malaysia.

Since the establishment of the HCVF, the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) and Terengganu FD have located the Dipterocarpus sarawakensis trees in the area and carried out general monitoring measures to maintain the population viability of this species.

However, a lack of funds has meant it has not been possible to develop specific monitoring procedures or conservation measures for the Dipterocarpus sarawakensis, nor have other rare species found in the forest reserve been documented. This has been a missed opportunity, as these activities would not only reduce population decline in rare species but also improve forest management practices and advance sustainable forest management in the country.

PEFC and Dipterocarpus sarawakensis

In response to this as yet untapped opportunity, the 2013 PEFC Collaboration Fund is supporting a FRIM-led project to develop and recommend monitoring procedures and conservation measures for Dipterocarpus sarawakensis in the Jerangau HCVF area.

dip monitoringThe project partners will monitor areas of the HCVF and from the resulting data, develop specific conservation management measures for Dipterocarpus sarawakensis and other threatened species. These recommendations will be published in a final report at the end of this two year project.

In addition, active transfer of knowledge and capacity building in the field will take place continuously throughout the project duration, improving the skilled knowledge among the field staff. This will also be backed up with formal teaching such as presentations and workshops.

On a national scale, the lessons learnt from this project will contribute to the fine-tuning of national level guidelines for managing HVCFs. Malaysia is currently in the process of implementing a network of HCVFs in its forest reserves and this project will be the first attempt to put in place specific monitoring and conservation measures. Furthermore, the findings will also contribute to the revision of the country’s existing HCVF Toolkits.

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