Malaysia's Mega-diversity under Threat

Publication - 5 January, 2004
Malaysia ranks 14th on the list of the 17 mega-diverse countries that contain around 70% or more of the planet’s (terrestrial, freshwater and marine) biodiversity making them transcendental to global efforts of biodiversity conservation. Malaysia is signatory to the Cancun Declaration of like-minded Mega-diverse Countries (18th February 2002) which consolidates a common agenda on biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, including access to genetic resources and benefit sharing, and protection of traditional knowledge. However, its natural resource policies simply contravene the declaration and prioritise exploitation over conservation. To feed logs to its unsustainable timber industry, Malaysia has already sacrificed most of its ancient rainforests for logging. Mounting domestic log shortages have driven Malaysian loggers overseas, into other mega-diverse countries such as Brazil, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Meanwhile, plantation companies convert logged forests in export-oriented plantation monocultures, thereby stripping the land of a wealth of biodiversity and depriving forest-dependent indigenous communities of their resources.

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Num. pages: 4