2. Tendances actuelles
2.1 Végétation ligneuse naturelle
Pendant des siècles, l'agriculture itinérante traditionnelle, ou ray, a été la principale cause de déforestation au Laos. Bien qu'elle ait été auparavant pratiquée aussi dans les régions de basse altitude (16), de nos jours les rays se localisent principalement dans les zones montagneuses du pays. Les montagnards n'abattent que les jeunes arbres, sauf à proximité des scieries où ils pratiquent la coupe rase. Après un temps de séchage, ils brûlent les abattis. Les bois non brûlés sont ensuite enlevés et les cultivateurs commencent à semer du riz principalement, mais aussi du mais, du manioc, du sorgho, différentes sortes d'haricots, du tabac, de l'opium et divers légumes. Les parcelles sont abandonnées après 3 à 4 ans et le processus de défrichement recommence ailleurs. La durée de la jachère varie entre 6 à 10 ans (4). Chez les Méos, le village entier est reconstruit à un nouvel emplacement tous les 15 ans (6).
La superficie défrichée par an est en moyenne de l'ordre de 300 000 ha (4) (8) (9) (14) (17) (18), dont 80 000 ha de forêt dense vierge et 20 000 ha de forêt dense exploitée (estimations déjà présentées au paragraphe 1.1.2), ce qui s'accorde avec le chiffre de 100 000 ha de forêt détruits annuellement que mentionne le document (19). Pendant les dernières années, l'impact de l'agriculture itinérante sur la forêt a été aggravé par l'afflux de dizaines de milliers de réfugés et le développement de la culture de l'opium dans les zones éloignées (17).
Déforestation annuelle moyenne
(en milliers d'ha)
Il est prévu une réduction des taux de déforestation pour les années à venir, pour tenir compte des conséquences du programme gouvernemental de déplacement des tribus montagnardes semi-nomades dans des zones de production agricole. (17) mentionne l'établissement permanent de 6 700 familles montagnardes jusqu'à 1977, et le communiqué de l'agence Pathet Lao du 2 juin 1980 indique un chiffre de 10 760 familles pour la période 1977–1980. Ces efforts de recasement seront intensifiés au niveau national (18) et les effets sur le taux de déforestation deviendront certainement beaucoup plus significatifs dans les années à venir, comme le traduit le tableau précédent.
Le terrain une fois abandonné, des arbustes de toutes sortes stabilisent assez rapidement le sol. Eupatorium odoratum, Trema velutina et Mallotus cochinchinensis sont des espèces caractéristiques pour les jachères des hautes régions, tandis que dans les plaines alluviales Bambusa arundinaria domine d'abord pour être remplacé peu à peu par les genres Peltophorum, Anthocephalus, Grewia, etc. (5).
On a admis par ailleurs une aliénation de 20 000 ha de formations ligneuses ouvertes (NHc/NHO) par an au profit de l'agriculture permanente et de l'élevage extensif.
A la fin de la saison sèche, les forêts claires et les savanes arborées ou arbustives sont généralement incendiées par la population rurale pour provoquer la régénération du tapis herbacé qui représente à ce moment là la seule source de nourriture fraîche pour le bétail. Ces formations ligneuses étant elles mêmes des pyroclimax, l'effet global de ces incendies répétés reste faible (5). Comme déjà indiqué au paragraphe 1.1.2, on estime que 5 000 ha de forêts claires productives et 10 000 ha de savanes improductives seraient annuellement détruites ou réduites par dégradation sous la forme de peuplements moins denses.
Les forêts du Laos ont aussi souffert de la guerre, mais cette dégradation extensive n'a jamais été quantifiée (17).
2.1.3 Tendances dans l'exploitation forestière
Le gouvernement a récemment décidé la création d'entreprises étatiques chargées de l'exploitation et de la transformation des produits forestiers et du reboisement (18). On s'attend donc à une intensification de l'exploitation forestière, à un rendement par ha plus élevé (jusqu'à 20 m3/ha) et à une production nette de bois en grumes de bois d'oeuvre qui pourrait atteindre 400 000 m3 par an en moyenne pour les cinq années à venir. La mécanisation généralisée de l'abattage, la modernisation du transport et de l'infrastructure et une amélioration sensible de l'entretien de l'équipement joueront dans ce domaine un rôle primordial. Par ailleurs un réseau routier à travers la chaîne annamitique est prévu devant aboutir aux ports vietnamiens de Vinh et de Da Nang (19).
2.1.4 Surfaces et volumes sur pied à la fin de 1985
Les projections faites dans les deux tableaux suivants tiennent compte des taux de deforestation, de dégradation et d'exploitation mentionnés aux paragraphes antérieurs.
Surfaces de végétation ligneuse naturelle estimées à la fin de 1985
(en milliers d'ha)
Volumes sur pied estimés à la fin de 1985
(en millions de m3)
|Feuillus et conifères||550||36||ε||550||466||1016|
Les documents (14), (18) et (19) laissent prévoir une intensification des opérations de reboisement au Laos par comparaison avec la période 1976–1980, ce qu'on a traduit dans les tableaux suivants en supposant une augmentation de la superficie plantée d'environ 20%.
Surfaces estimées des plantations industrielles réalisées à la fin de 1985
(en milliers d'ha)
|Classe d'âge||0–5||5–10||11–15||16–20||21–30||31–40||> 40|
|PHL 1||Tectona grandis (et autres feuillus)||1,50||1,20||0,60||1,00||1,20||ε||5,50|
Surfaces estimées des plantations autres qu'industrielles réalisées à la fin de 1985
(en milliers d'ha)
|Classe d'âge||0–5||5–10||11–15||16–20||21–30||31–40||> 40|
|PHH 2||Eucalyptus spp. (et autres essences feuillues à croissance rapide)||(6,00)||(5,00)||(1,50)||(0,50)||ε||(13,00)|
Surfaces estimées des plantations réalisées à la fin de 1985
(en milliers d'ha)
|Classe d'âge||0–5||5–10||11–15||16–20||21–30||31–40||> 40|
|PHL = PHL 1||Essences feuillues autres que celles à croissance rapide||1,50||1,20||0,60||1,00||1,20||ε||5,50|
|PHH = PHH 2||Essences feuillues à croissance rapide||(6,00)||(5,00)||(1,50)||(0,50)||ε||(13,00)|
|P = PH||Total toutes plantations||(7,50)||(6,20)||(2,10)||(1,50)||1,20||ε||(18,50)|
(1) Vidal, J. 1960 “Les forêts du Laos” - in Bois et Forêts des Tropiques No. 70 - Hogent-sur-Marne (France)
(2) Service des Eaux et Forêts 1962 “Tendances et perspectives du bois au Laos” - Vientiane
(3) Service des Eaux et Forêts 1964 “Rapport national sur les forêts du reyaume de Laos” - préparé pour la septième session de la Commission des forêts pour l'Asie et le Pacifique - Vientiane
(4) Service des Eaux et Forêts 1969 “Enquête sur la situation actuelle de l'agriculture itinérante et ses tendances” - préparé pour la huitième session de la Commission des forêts pour l'Asie et le Pacifique-Vientiane
(5) CIDA/USAID 1969 “Reconnaissance Survey of Lowland Forests: Laos - Final Report” - Vientiane
(6) USAID 1970 “Forestry Sector Evaluation for Laos” - Vientiane
(7) Service national de la Statistique 1970 “Bulletin de Statistiques: 20ème année” - Vientiane
(8) FAO 1973 “FAO Planning Mission to Laos: Forestry Report” - rédigé par J. Turbang - Bangkok
(9) Service des Eaux et Forêts 1973 “Rapport national d'activités forestières: Laos” - préparé pour la neuvième session de la Commission des forêts pour l'Asie et la Pacifique - Vientiane
(10) Department of Forestry/Australian National University 1974 “Annual Report 1973: Laos Australian Reafforestation Project” - Canberra
(11) Service national de la Statistique 1974 “Bulletin de Statistiques: issue No. 2” - Vientiane
(12) FAO 1974 “Laos: Country Development Brief” - Document de travail interne - DDF/CDB 12 - Rome
(13) FAO 1975 “Rapport sur l'inventaire des pineraies du Phou Ka Kuy” - basé sur les travaux de J. L. Nivelle - Project LAO/72/004 - Vientiane
(14) SIDA 1977 “Technical Report on the Forestry Sector in Laos” - Stockholm
(15) Nations Unies 1977 “Carthographie thématique basée sur les images des satellites” - Note d'information du secrétariat du Comité pour la coordination des études sur le bassin inférieur du Mékong - Commission économique et sociale pour l'Asie et le Pacifique - MKG/49 - Bangkok
(16) Nations Unies 1978 “Agriculture in the Lower Mekong Basin (draft)” - Comité pour la coordination des études sur le bassin inférieur du Mékong - Commission économique et sociale pour l'Asie et le Pacifique - MKG/60 - Bangkok
(17) FAO 1978 “General Information about Forests and Forestry in Lao People's Democratic Republic” - Rapport préparé par C. Chandrasekharan - Bangkok
(18) Anonyme 1978 “Statement of Lao People's Democratic Republic” - presented at the Pre-Project Technical Consultation on Population Data in Forestry Communities Practising Shifting Cultivation - Vientiane
(19) FAO/UNDP 1978 “Report of the Formulation Mission to Laos” - Rome
Caractéristiques des images Landsat (1 et 2) utilisées pour l'estimations des surfaces
La liste des images interprétées avec leurs caractéristiques est donnée ci-dessous (d'ouest en est et du nord au sud):
|Coordonnées orbite-ligne||No. d'identification||Date||Couverture nuageuse||Observations générales|
|139-044||1546–03060||20.01.74||Sans couverture nuageuse.||Existe un hiatus de 11 points entre 139-044 et 139-045. En raccord avec le Viet Nam. 16 points interprétés.|
|139-045||2362–02561||19.01.76||Près de 36% (132 points) de couverture nuageuse dans la partie de la scène interessant le Lao.||En raccord avec le Viet Nam. 366 points interprétés.|
|138-045||2361–02502||18.01.76||Interprétation réalisée principalement sur la composition colorée du 31.12.75. En raccord avec le Viet Nam. 89 points interprétés.|
|2343–02503||31.12.75||Couverture nuageuse: 12 points.|
|138-046||2361–02505||18.01.76||Nébulosité: 13 points.||9 points interprétés.|
|137-046||2342–02452||30.12.75||Nébulosité: 38 points.||En raccord avec le Viet Nam. 613 points interprétés.|
|137-047||1184–02594||23.01.73||Sans couverture nuageuse.||En raccord avec le Viet Nam. 165 points interprétés.|
|135-048||2358-02343||15.01.76||Nébulosité: 29 points.||En raccord avec le Viet Nam. 38 points interprétés.|
Peninsular Malaysia (formerly West Malaysia, Malaya) occupies a total area of 131 690 km2 between 6°45'N (border with Thailand) and 1°20'N (sea-strait with the island of Republic of Singapore) and between 99°40' and 104°20'E (between the Straits of Malacca and South China Sea). Its maximum width is 322 km with a length from northernmost to southernmost tip of approximately 740 km. Parallel mountain ranges in northwest - southeast direction characterize the northern and central-western parts, with peaks about 2 000 m high (highest point is 2 190 m).
The general topography of the country is characterized by (i) extensive coastal plains and inland lowlands of undulating terrain below 300 m a.s.l. (about 60% of the total area), (ii) hilly ranges of altitudes between 300 and 1 300 m a.s.l. (about 35%) and (iii) mountains above 1 300 m a.s.l (about 5% of total area). Hills and mountains are frequently of steep slopes (more than 60%) and strongly dissected, especially in the western mountainous range and central areas (1).
Soils are variable and include (i) on marine alluvium: alluvial gley soils (tropaquents) and peat soils (saprists) which are highly suitable for agriculture; (ii) on freshwater alluvium: well-drained levee soils, suitable for agriculture and backswamp soils; (iii) on sandstone and quartzite: ultisols (red-yellow podzolic soils of low base content and infertile) and patches of laterite, more extensive inland; (iv) on iron-rich schists: oxisols (dark red, friable latosols of limited extent, mainly on east coast); (v) on course siliceous deposits: podzols (very deficient in bases, mainly on east-coast old beaches); (vi) on ever-wet mountains sites, about 1 000 m a.s.l. to cloud zone: brown earths, podzols and peaty gley soils (latter continuing in the cloud zone, acid, of very low fertility).
The climate is typical of the humid tropics (1): mean day temperature is 32°C (90°F), mean night temperature is 22°C (72°F), diurnal variation is 5.5–8.5°C in coastal plains and 8.5–11°C in inland areas, monthly variation of temperature is only 2°C on average. The area is outside the belt of tropical cyclones but influenced by monsoon winds: from the south-west during May to September and from the north-east from October to March. Average rainfall amounts to 2 550 mm country-wide, with highest values on exposed mountains (with a maximum of 5 100 mm) and lowest values in sheltered valleys (with a minimum of 1 650 mm). The daily average humidity is around 90% with very little influence of the monsoon seasons. Thunderstorms occur year-round, on average 200 days a year with a peak in the afternoons (except for night-thunder in the coastal strips).
The population was 8.8 million in 1970 and amounts to 11.3 million in 1980 corresponding to an average density of 86 inhabitants/km2; current annual population growth rate is estimated as 2.6% (15). In the past decade, an important migration of people from the more densely populated west coast areas to the central and eastern inland areas, has commenced, in government-controlled land settlement schemes as well as to towns. Infrastructure is comparatively well developed, with high-standard highways north-south and west-east from coast to coast already in existence or being built.
In the fields of processing and trade of timber products (14)(15) the facts that exports of unprocessed roundwood were insignificant in 1978 (small volumes of secondary quality species to Singapore only) and that Peninsular Malaysia's contribution to international trade in tropical sawn timbers reached a high of 26%, are noteworthy.
1. Present situation
1.1 Natural woody vegetation
1.1.1 Description of the vegetation types
Closed broadleaved forests (NHC)
High forest types are broadly described after Wyatt Smith (1), adapted from Foxworthy and Symington.
a) Closed forests on dry lands
Lowland dipterocarp forests: they are found up to approximately 300 m a.s.l. About 50% of upper-storey trees usually belong to the family of Dipterocarpaceae (many species of the genera Anisoptera, Dipterocarpus, Dryobalanops, Hopea, Shorea and Parashorea). Following non-Dipterocarpaoeae are common in the upper storey: Dryera costulata, Gluta spp., Intsia palembanica, Koompassia malacoensis, Melanorrhoea spp., Palaquium spp., Sindora spp. and Tarrietia spp.; they are located originally on well-drained alluvial levee soils, ultisols and oxisols; currently only few remnants are left of the type due to extensive conversion for agricultural use.
Hill dipterocarp forests: they correspond to the altitudinal zone between 300 and 1 300 m a.s.l.. Many of the lowland dipterocarp forest genera are represented but with different species and composition: for instance ridges are often dominated by Shorea curtisii (“Seraya forest”) and typical non-dipterocarps frequently occur such as Swintonia specifera. They are presently forming the bulk of the productive permanent forest estate and are found on ultisols, oxisols and podzols with low agricultural potential.
Upperhill/montane forests: they occur above 1 300 m a.s.l.. They include few dipterocarp species and commonly species of the Fagaceae (Querous, Lithocarpus and Castanopsis spp.) and Lauraceae families and other species like Agathis alba, Engelhardia spp. and Podocarpus spp. as typical intermixture, found mainly on brown earths and podzol soils; above 1 600 m a.s.l., in the cloud belt, are found e ricaoeous (“mossy”) forests with few oaks and Pteris evalifolia, Rhdodendron and Vaccinium spp. prevalent on acid peaty gley soils. They are permanent but largely unproductive forests with no agricultural potential.
The following denominations are often used in the literature:
secondary dryland forests: a great part of the hill dipterocarp forests has been selectively logged in the past three decades. Composition of tree species varies greatly over short distances in these types due to variable logging intensities. In (5) it is shown that dipterocarp trees still constitute the main component of the intermediate-sized trees (with DBH between 30 and 60 cm, i.e. the future crop trees for second-cycle selective logging). Disturbed forests resulting from traditional shifting cultivation in the past, including those with frequent occurrence of bamboo, are also included in secondary types (shifting cultivation in Peninsular Malaysia has been of low intensity in the past and is since the 1950's of very limited and local importance only);
heath, strand and limestone forest vegetation has typical characteristics and is more often of a shrubby nature. It is only of limited and local importance; the corresponding stands have been included in hill dipterocarp forests of poor quality in this overall assessment since their total area is not significant (5).
b) Closed forests on, at least periodically, water logged lands.
Mangrove swamp forests are mainly found on the marine alluvium (tropaquents and saprists) along the sheltered west coast; on east coast only smaller areas within the mouths of tidal rivers, of simple structure with principally Rhizophora, Avicennia, Bruguiera, Sonneratia and Xylocarpus spp., in species belts depending on soil and inundation patterns. Tree height ranges between 7 and 25 m. Important areas are under working plans, part of them drafted before World War II, for continuous production of charcoal and posts since several decades.
Peat swamp forests were originally occupying extensive areas of coastal plains and in central southern inland parts of the peninsula. Many tree species are typically not found in dryland dipterocarp forests with the notable exception of Koompassia malaccensis and some dipterocarp species like those of genera Anisoptera, Hopea and Shorea. They are found on peat layers of 1–10 m depth overlying marine alluvial clay in the more sheltered western plains and over sand in eastern areas. The peat soils are deficient in mineral contents and contain acid drainage water. Large areas have been reclaimed for agriculture, especially where original peat layers were of modest depth and mixing with subsoil was possible improving the mineral content.
The following denominations are often used in the literature:
secondary swamp forests: most of the presently existing swamp forests have been selectively logged in the past 50 years. On average the composition in currently marketable species of intermediate sizes (25–50 cm DBH) does not appear to have been drastically changed from the virgin condition (3). Limited areas of swamp forests have been included in the permanent forest estate for continuous production as well as environmental control (i.e. maintenance of groundwater levels, river-mouth protection and mangrove prawn fisheries);
freshwater swamp forests: they originally occurred intermingled with peat swamps on slight elevations which are only temporarily submerged by more mineral-rich, less-acid fresh-water, where only 5–10 cm peat or much-soil may occur. Floristic composition is very variable but often richer in dipterocarp species than in true swamp (peat) forests, Dipterocarps are represented by Dipterocarpus coriaceus, D. costulatus, Dryobalanops oblongifolia, Hopea mengarawan, Shorea and Vatica spp.. Especially Hopea and Vatica spp. are commonly present intermingled with non-dipterocarps as Intsia palembanica, Koompassia malaccensis, Melanorrhoea, Palaguium, Pometia and Sindora spp.. Soils are partly drained levee-soils on backswamp soils, to a considerable extent reclaimed for agriculture. The type is included in peat swamps forests for the purposes of this overall assessment.
1.1.2 Present situation of the woody vegetation
Areas given in the table below are based on information contained in (3),(10), (11), (12) and (14). The latest complete air-photo coverage of Peninsular Malaysia was carried out in 1966, but during 1974/75 a partial reflying was undertaken over development areas, which ultimately covered about 60% of the country. Resulting area information was used to project the situation by end 1980.
Areas of natural woody vegetation estimated at end 1980
(in thousand ha)
|Within forest reserves||Dryland dipt. forests||1360||1536||4035||3299||848||596||444||4743|
|Peat swamp forests||82||71||153||384||384||190|
|Outside forest reserves||Dryland dipt. forests||1623||1623||1623|
|Peat swamp forests||3427||2427||584||5584|
1 Current rate of forest clearing is estimated at 90 000 ha per year of which approximately 80 000 ha in agricultural schemes and 10 000 ha for development of mineral mining, hydro-electric dam-reservoirs and highways. In (8) an annual agricultural expansion rate of 81 000 ha is reported for the 1974–76 period. In (14) a total of forest area of 6 567 000 ha is reported for the year 1979. Latter estimate does not include forest areas in nature reserves, sanctuaries and national parks not under Forestry Department administration.
2 Based on data in (10) and (11) including existing and proposed nature reserves, sanctuaries and national parks. Several of the latter category are proposed for multiple use, where logging will be restricted to designated areas; without definite information available on these areas, 50% of the multiple-use category has been assumed unproductive in this assessment. Examples of larger areas intended for multiple use purposes are the Krau game reserve (Pahang state), the Gunung Blumut park (Johore state) and the Eudau-Rompin park (Pahang and Johore states). The larger national park Taman Negara (states of Kelantan, Trengganu and Pahang) of 434 360 ha, is not designated for multiple-use.
3 In (14) the area of Permanent Forest Estate is provisionally given as 5.1 million ha. In (11) it is assessed as 5 180 000 ha, with boundary definition for several proposed areas pending.
4 Comprising the Tasek Cini and Tasek Berah lake and swamp nature reserves.
5 Estimated on the basis of a total annual coupe of 80 600 ha in 12 management units in (11) and (12), where since 1975 minimum diameter (DBH) limits for selective fellings have been applied with a view to maintaining commercial volume outputs on a cycle of 25–50 years. These regulations should cover at end 1980 a total area of 403 000 ha.
6 Mangroves under long-term working plans in Perak state, from (3).
7 A rate of logging and clearing in swamp forests has been applied on the basis of proportion of area for conversion in swamp forests to total area of conversion forests in the country, e.g. 15%, derived from area counts on maps included in (11).
8 All areas currently under forests available for conversion to other uses. Parts of national parks, sanctuaries, nature reserves and monuments which may not fall under Forestry Department administration, are included in forest reserves.
In the Federation of Malaysia, the ownership of all natural forest lands is vested in the governments of the respective states. Legislative and executive authority over forestry therefore rests with the Legislature of a state in Peninsular Malaysia. Each state Forestry Department is responsible for the administration and management of all timber resources, forest law enforcement and forest revenue collection. Customary rights of certain indigenous groups of people such as traditional hunting and other forest uses, are recognized by the state Legislature and boundaries of certain Malay and Aboriginal Reservations are defined on maps.
Legal status and management
Two categories of forests were recognized in the past: stateland forests and forest reserves.
Stateland forests were regarded as of temporary status; they could be converted to other uses (conversion forests) or they could be re-constituted as (part of) a forest reserve at a later point of time to cater for public needs and wishes. Exploitation in the stateland forests was in the form of rather ad-hoc short-term “agreement-area” annual coupes for a limited number of years or in “annual permits” of individual coupes by the logging companies. Control by the state Forestry Departments of fellings within the coupe boundaries was limited, especially in those areas (provisionally) intended for conversion into agricultural land schemes.
Forest reserves were of a more permanent status with exploitation regulated by the state Forestry Departments through area control of allowable annual coupes within states, forest districts and/or larger forest reserves and through the imposition of minimum DBH limits for trees allowed to be felled (1). During the 1960's and 1970's, however, substantial territorial changes had to be made to these “forest reserve” areas, particularly in lowlands, due to urgent pressures for rapid land-scheme developments arising from the national economic policy priorities.
A new National Forestry Policy for Peninsular Malaysia was accepted by the National Forestry Council in 1977 and subsequently endorsed by the National Land Council in 1978. The policy outlines the proper management, development and harvesting of the nearly established Permanent Forest Estate for adequate environmental protection, timber production and amenity needs (14). The Federal Forestry Department has been designated the coordinating agency for forest administration, management planning and development. It is also responsible for forestry research, promotion of forest products utilization and forest industries development under the Ministry of Primary Industries.
The silvicultural practice applied in forest reserves in the past was a modified form of the “Malayan Uniform System” (1). It involved fellings to a minimum diameter limited of 18 inches (DBH 45.7 cm) and poison-girdling of large relic trees and unwanted species following logging. The practice has been found of limited success in hill forests because of more difficult terrain and poorer regeneration compared with lowland forests (14). Since 1975 a so-called “Selective Management System” is being introduced in permanent forests. The aim is to ensure economically viable harvesting while at the same time retaining adequate stocking of healthy, potentially commerciable trees of intermediate sizes (30–60 cm DBH) in the residual stand (12). The basis of the cutting regimes to be enforced, which may prescribe variable minimum cutting limits, is the factual stand composition before each round of selective logging.
Government policy on the management of the distinctive protective, productive and amenity forests within the agreed-upon permanent estate, has been laid down in (9). The Forestry Department started in 1975 the application of the required selective fellings in 12 Management Units, which include 8 long-term concession areas (over a total annual coupe of about 80 000 ha - see table in section 1.1.2). Control of implementation in selective fellings is facilitated by several on-going field programmes of the Forestry Department, such as (from (12) and (14)):
systematic inventories (by line plot sampling) of logged-over forests, to determine schedules of relogging (second-cycle cut) of stands which were harvested in the past under a modified Malayan Uniform System regime;
permanent observation plots to determine growth rates and effects of silvicultural treatments after selective fellings (currently about 250 samples of 0.4 ha each distributed over all forest districts);
experimental felling blocks (of minimum 4 ha each) with application of minimum cutting limits varying from 30.5 cm (12 inches) to 61 cm (24 inches), to determine felling damages, mortality rates, development of remaining tree stands and needs/success of silvicultural treatments (replicated currently in 7 locations representing the major forest regions of the country);
cooperative research and development programmes of operational control and cost-benefit studies, jointly with several major concession companies (e.g. felling marking, planning and implementation of extraction, assessment and improvement of residual stands and hydrological studies);
integrated planning of all forest activities in Management Units on the basis of all assembled data, including agricultural, forest industries, nature conservation and other regional infrastructure information (as described in (8) for one district).
These field programmes led in 1977 to internal guideline notes (6), which contain specific, though by necessity still preliminary, findings for consideration in matters of operational costs vis-à-vis concession charges and appropriate cutting regimes to be applied in sustained-yield selective felling agreements, e.g. how to determine the variable minimum cutting limits for logging blocks of an average size of about 200 ha.
The activities of the federal and state Forestry Departments are financed by both the federal and state governments. In addition to royalty on timber extracted and premium on area worked-over by logging, the state governments also impose a cess on timber volumes produced by exploitation companies, to finance forest development operations as surveying and felling planning, replanting and silvicultural treatments, by the Forestry Departments jointly with concession companies.
The activities of the Malaysian Timber Industry Board for regulation and promotion of timber exports, are financed by a cess imposed on exports of timber products, largely sawn lumber, veneer and plywood.
Annual log production in 1977 is indicated below (14):
total log production: 9 757 000 m3
logs for export : 307 000 m3.
Recent trends in processing and export are indicated in the following table:
Processed and export volumes
(in thousand m3)
|Category||total production||export volumes|
|logs for export||1458||1||473||307|
1 not available
The output per ha from virgin permanent forests, both dry land and swamp, is on average 48 m3/ha but variable with location. Under selective felling management, average outturns are somewhat reduced to 45 m3/ha. Outturn of secondary forests under selective felling management is on average estimated as 38 m3/ha. Salvage fellings before ultimate clearing of conversion forests on dry land, produce on average 30 m3/ha of commercial logs, most of it from already once selectively logged forests ((11) and (12)). Outturn from mangrove and swamp forests is variable, on average 22 m3/ha in stems above 15 cm DBH.
Tree species used are given in the list below, comprising 41 meranti species, 147 species in total of the family Dipterocarpaceae and 254 species of the non-dipterocarps, some of which are at present infrequently but increasingly used. In recent years merantis made up roughly one-third and all dipterocarps almost 60% of the average production mix from the forests.
List of species in use (1974/75 commercial exploitation)
|Species group||Local name||Latin name|
|Dark red meranti||5 species of Shorea|
|Red meranti||13 species of Shorea and 3 species of Parashorea|
|White meranti||10 species of Shorea|
|Yellow meranti||9 species of Shorea|
|Balau||17 species of Shorea|
|Kapur||2 species of Dryobalanops|
|Keruing||30 species of Dipterocarpus|
|Mersawa||7 species of Anisoptera|
|Giam||9 species of Hopea|
|Merawan||14 species of Hopea|
|Mata||5 species of Hopea|
|Resak||19 species of Vatica and 2 species of Cotylelobium|
|Mahang||3 species of Macaranga and 7 species of Mangifera|
|6 species of Durio and 4 species of Neesia|
|7 species of Canarium and 7 species of Dacryodes|
|5 species of Santiria and 5 species of Dillenia|
|Sepetir||6 species of Sindoraand Cratoxylon arborescens|
|Mengkulang||5 species of Heritiera|
|2 species of Ganua and 14 species of Palaquium|
|4 species of Payena and 2 species of Pouteria Madhuca sericea|
|Melawis||5 species of Gonystylus|
|3 species of Cratoxylon and 6 species of Terminalia|
|Keladang||11 species of Artocarpus|
|2 species of Cynometra and 2 species of Palaquium|
|Merbau||2 species of Intsia|
|Damar Minyak||Agathis alba|
|Mangrove||2 species of Rhizophora|
|23 species of Calophyllum and 25 species of Kokgona|
|6 species of Lephopetalum and 3 species of Gymnacranthera|
|6 species of Horsfieldia and 4 species of Knema|
|7 species of Myristica and 3 species of Alstonia|
|4 species of Alseodaphna and 3 species of Beilschmiedia|
|5 species of Cinnamonum and 4 species of Crytocarpa|
|2 species of Dehaasia and 14 species of Litsea|
|2 species of Nothaphoebe and 3 species of Phoebe|
|3 species of Swintonia and 3 species of Campnosperma, Tetramerista glabra|
|Keranji||7 species of Dialium|
|3 species of Nephelium and 2 species of Xerospermum and 2 species of Fagraea and Mesua ferrea.|
Within the permanent forests on dryland and in peat swamps, no trees of DBH less than 18 inches (45.7 cm) are being harvested. In mangroves, clearfellings are applied in regeneration strips prescribed in working plans. Salvage fellings in conversion forests before clearing are of very variable but increasing intensity.
Other forest products
The total production of fuelwood and charcoal was estimated in 1978 for the whole of Malaysia at 10.3 million m3 (FAO Yearbook of Forest Products). With more than 85% of the population residing in Peninsular Malaysia, almost all of this production for energy requirements comes from rubber-replanting schemes and the clearing of conversion forests for agricultural development. Export of charcoal amounted to 5 000 tones or 30 000 m3 of roundwood equivalent in 1978 (FAO Yearbook).
Other forest products include rattan for furniture and basket making, bamboo for panelling, baskets and handicrafts, damar, resins and gums from several tree species for the manufacture of varnish and finishes and gaharu, the fungal infected heartwood of trees of the family Thymeleaceae used as incense wood (14). Total production statistics are currently not available for all these products.
1.1.3 Present situation of the growing stock
A national forest inventory was completed for Peninsular Malaysia in 1972 (5). Subsequent appraisals of resources in the permanent forest estate and conversion areas were updated to end 1975 (11) (12). On the basis of the information contained in these documents and the area information of section 1.1.2, the growing stock has been estimated as follows.
Growing stock estimated at end 1980
(totals in million m3)
1 of which 466 million m3 in forest reserves and 110 million m3 outside forest reserves
2 of which 347 million m3 in forest reserves and 380 million m3 outside forest reserves.
The inventory reported in (5) gives estimates of total growing stock volumes of trees with DBH over 15.2 cm (6 inches) for different forest types shown on maps. The volumes in tree-size class 10–15.2 cm have been estimated by extrapolation of volume data for the size classes 6–12, 12–18 and 18–24 inches DBH given in (3).
Growing stock estimates for productive forests not intensively managed (NHCf1u) have been made as weighted averages of volume data of all inventory samples in hill and swamp forest types, separately for virgin and logged-over forests. With the area information of section 1.1.2, total volumes are estimated separately for forests within and outside forest reserves (Permanent Forest Estate). Within reserves, growing stock will be selectively and periodically harvested on the basis of minimum cutting regimes to retain adequate numbers of intermediate sized future crop trees. Outside reserves, growing stock can be utilized to the fullest extent possible in scheduled conversion to other land-uses, mainly agriculture, under government controlled programmes.
The growing stock for more intensively managed productive forests (NHCf1m) is based on the weighted average of the volume data in inventory samples in (3) falling in type “recently logged” (since 1966) hill forests. No separate estimates of volumes in mangroves under working plans have been made, as these amount presently to only 10% (and will be reduced to less than 5% in the next 5 year period) of total area under more intensive management.
Estimates for the unproductive forests (NHCf2), are based on the weighted averages of volume data of inventory samples in (3) falling in the types “upperhill montane” and “poor” hill forests, which constitute the bulk of the unproductive forests.
Estimates of volume growth rates are reported in (10) and (11). Data of 69 permanent plots of 0.4 ha each, periodically remeasured over one to several decades (10) are averaged to give following stem volume growth rates for dryland dipterocarp forests in the western and southern parts of Peninsular Malaysia. All trees over 8 inches DBH (20.3 cm) are included and the growth rates may be considered on average for mid-point of the selective felling cycle, e.g. about 15 years after logging.
Stem volume growth rates (gross)
|Species group||Measured > 8" (20.3 cm)|
|Extrapolated > 10 cm DBH 1|
|of total stock||of total growth|
|All market species||2.5||3.3||....||62|
1 Growth for size class 10–20.3 cm is estimated by applying the growth % of 3.39 of standing stock > 8" DBH to the estimated volume in size class 10–20.3 cm of 38 m3/ha on average. This growth is added to the measured estimates above 8".
In (13), estimates of growth of current (1978) market species over 30.5 cm DBH (12 inches), were derived from remeasurement data of 53 sample plots of 0.4 ha each, located in the eastern-central part of Peninsular Malaysia. These indicated an average commercial stem volume growth of 2.2 m3/ha/year (DBH>30 cm). It is considered that for selective felling regimes in cycles of an average of 34 years (12), where it is assessed that 80% of permanent forest areas may be selectively logged every 30 years and 20% every 50 years, only the growth of tree stock more than 30.5 cm (12 inches) DBH after logging should be taken into account. These trees are viewed as next-cycle crop trees on the basis of average annual diameter growth rates.
In these studies, tree mortality rates following logging have been taken into account. The annual gross allowable cut (AAC) for more intensively managed forests (NHCf1m), has been equated to the 2.2 m3/ha/year increment above. Future actual outturns from these forests will depend on an exploitation factor to be applied to the gross stemgrowth accumulation. Currently this factor is 60% on average.
Results of the growth studies for peat swamp and mangrove forests in Peninsular Malaysia have not been taken into account. Due to the relatively minor areas of such types the growth of these stands has been assumed equal to that of the dipterocarp forests.
Commercial interest in paper-making has prompted the Forestry Department to establish since 1955 many species trials and experimental plantations in Peninsular Malaysia. Small scale hardwood plantings include the species Albizia falcataria, Gmelina arborea, Acacia spp., Eucalyptus spp. and Maesopsis eminii for short-fibre pulp and Swietenia macrophylla, Khaya ivorensis, Tectona grandis and Flindersia brayleyana for valuable timber. Experimental softwood plantations include Pinus caribaea, P. kesiya, P. merkusii, P. oocarpa and Araucaria spp., later three only in small trial plots. By end 1970, a total of 1010 ha of experimental softwood plantations were established, 95% of it in Pinus caribaea (2).
However, during the period 1955–70, main planting efforts by the state Forestry Departments were directed towards “enrichment plantings” of hardwood species along cleared lines in logged-over natural high forests to improve standing stock of valuable timbers. During the 1970's, the low success rates of such enrichment plantings became apparent, due to a considerable extent to increasingly prohibitive costs of providing overhead light to the lines for a sufficiently long period. Emphasis in natural high forest management has since been put on strict adherence to locally appropriate selective felling limits. Presently, some of the long-term concession units are practicing the planting up of road sides, loading yards and skid trails with indigenous hardwoods (e.g. Endospermum malaccense) and exotic (e.g. Gmelina arborea, Albizia falcataria) fast-growing ones (12). Line plantings were carried out by the Forestry Departments in recent years with rattans (Calamus spp.) and fruit trees like durian (Durio zibethinus) and petai (Parkia speciosa) (14).
Larger scale plantations for the pulp and paper industry were commenced in the 1960's. During the period 1967–70, 320 ha were planted in pine (12) and an additional 1140 ha during 1970–73 (4). Since 1975, the average rate of pine planting has been one thousand ha per hear. Steeply increasing labour costs also in the rural areas of Peninsular Malaysia, have caused difficulties in rapidly expanding the annual planting programme (during the first few years of establishment hand-weeding needs to be carried out annually several times).
In 1980 the Forestry Department is preparing a 5-year plan for the planting of 60 000 ha of unused wastelands, largely in worked-out mining concessions. Development funds for this purpose will be made available by the Federal government under coordination by the Department of Environment, Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment.
1.2.2 Areas of established plantations
Until the present, all forest plantations in Peninsular Malaysia are established for industrial purposes. Abundant fuelwood supplies are provided in the massive annual replanting programmes for rubber, both in estates and small holder's plantations. Line plantings in natural high forests with fruit trees and valuable indigenous or exotic species, are not included in plantations.
The table below is based on information reported in (8) and (12) which has been projected to show the position at the end of 1980, taking into account the targets indicated in (10). Areas less than 10 ha have been considered insignificant. Success rates in the first few years after planting are assessed as 75–80%.
Areas of established industrial plantations estimated at end 1980
(in thousand ha)
|Age class||0–5||6–10||11–15||16–20||21–30||31–40||> 40|
|PHH 1||Albizia falcataria||ε||ε||ε||ε||ε||ε|
|Others (e.g. Eucalyptus spp.)||ε||ε||ε||ε||ε||ε|
|Subtotal PHH 1||ε||ε||ε||ε||ε||0.05|
|PH.1||Subtotal hardwood plantations||ε||ε||ε||ε||0.05||ε||0.05|
|PS.1||Others pines (P. merkusii, P. oocarpa)||ε||ε||ε||ε||ε|
|Other conifers (e.g. Araucaria spp.)||0.04||0.05||ε||ε||0.09|
|Subtotal softwood plantations||4.04||2.00||0.53||0.50||ε||7.07|
|P..1||Total industrial plantations||4.04||2.00||0.53||0.50||0.05||ε||7.12|
Plantations of fruit trees, mainly of durian (Durio zibethinus), in small village garden lots of 0.1–0.5 ha, are found throughout the country. No area statistics are available on these to date.