‘Forest the New Economy’ examines the possibility of exchanging short-term private benefits for long-term public benefits by considering the economics of preserving intact forests and the services these landscapes provide. TRCRC aims to increase and promote investment in forests to develop innovative sustainable management practices of natural resources, emphasising on the importance of conservation and capitalising on the true economic value of our forests.
Reforestation is a globally recognised key action to mitigate climate change effects and Malaysia’s advantage is that we have naturally occurring rainforests that most other countries don’t have. Thus, Malaysian degraded forests can be supplemented by enrichment planting, and if executed with a commercial mindset, can have major positive cash flow benefits to the country. The initiative will drive programs that focus on the reforestation and enrichment of degraded forests to increase the commercial value of idle land, which balances profit, the environment and wellbeing of local communities.
Under the initiative, the projects that TRCRC foresee are: (1) Products from biomass e.g. biofuel, biodegradable plastics, power etc., (3) Agroforestry, (4) Medicinal plants, (5) Bio-prospecting (active enzymes), (6) Premium ecotourism, and (7) Carbon offsetting initiatives.
We are proposing that TRCRC act as a delivery partner to execute ‘Forest the New Economy’ to aid in coordinating various governmental and private industry stakeholders.
This initiative aligns Malaysia’s sustainable development goals, biodiversity policies, and international commitments towards conservation and climate change mitigation.
TRCRC has been in discussion with key stakeholders in the government, forestry/environment, investment and energy sectors, to explore opportunities for enrichment reforestation of degraded forests and the potential of establishing a sustainable development roadmap in Malaysia. This venture has the capability of sequestering 5-10% of the required global CO2 mitigation needed by 2030 on an annual basis in addition to increasing Malaysia’s GDP by 3-10% and providing employment for 200,000 to 400,000 people.
With the cooperation of stakeholders, the desired course of action is to create a credible roadmap to bring Malaysia forward as the 1st carbon compliant and fully green economy, all while significantly generating revenue, profit and employment opportunities for the people of Malaysia.
The current work that TRCRC is involved in are in line with the commitments made by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE); working towards the objectives set up by the 2016 – 2025 National Policy on Biological Diversity, in particular Target 8 and Target 9. The document’s goals resonate within the key aspects of our projects whereby we aim on maintaining and improving environmental stability for proper functioning of ecological processes while empowering all stakeholders involved, ensuring the preservation of unique biological heritage of the nation and conducting research that enhance scientific and technological knowledge. Two out of our three sites (Perak and Kelantan sites) are located within key locations of the nation’s Central Forest Spine initiative (CFS), which the NRE along with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) are working together on implementation and execution.
Moving into the next 15 years, TRCRC aims to complement the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (UNSDG) and The Eleventh Malaysia Plan 2020 (RM11). These agendas highlight key points on developmental needs of growing nations like Malaysia that need to be addressed collectively by stakeholders at all levels. UNSDG 15 lists targets for the protection and restoration of terrestrial ecosystems, promoting sustainable use and development. RM11 focuses on delivering high impact on capital and people economies, with six strategic goals for policy shifts and action plans to make the transition into an advanced economy and inclusive nation.
Targets that TRCRC are committed to, as outlined in UNSDG 15 and RM11:
UNSDG 15 TARGETS – Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss.
• 15.1 Ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of natural ecosystems.
• 15.2 Promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation and restore degraded forests.
• 15.3 Combat desertification; restore degraded land and soil.
• 15.5 Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity.
• 15.9 Integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts.
• 15.9a Significantly increase financial resources to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems.
• 15.9b Mobilise significant resources to finance sustainable forest management and provide incentives to developing countries to advance such management, including for conservation and reforestation.
RM11 FOCUSES – Strategic Thrust 4: Pursuing green growth for sustainability and resilience.
- Focus Area A: Strengthening the enabling environment for green growth.
- Focus Area C: Conserving natural resources for present and future generations.
- Focus Area D: Strengthening resilience against climate change and natural disasters.
These goals reflect the challenges of the world, particularly climate change effects on natural systems, food security, displacement, weather patterns and development. TRCRC will support policies and action plans that address these challenges.