Over the last 5 decades, Malaysia has made tremendous strides in lifting a large segment of its population out of poverty and promoting a sizeable segment into the middle class. Palm oil use in food products, cosmetics, household products and biofuel is vastly superior to its alternatives, and the demand for this highly versatile commodity sky-rocketed, spurring the expansion of oil palm plantations across Malaysia and Indonesia as companies clamour for market share in meeting this demand. This economic development created new jobs, brought paved roads, better schools and modern infrastructure to the nation. Some of the progress came at a cost to the tropical forests and their bio diversity, causing loss of our carbon sinks where forests were cleared to make way for new plantations.
With the aid of scientists and environmentalists, Malaysia has awakened to the unsustainability of these practices, and the government, businesses and the communities have made progress in the right direction to balance economic and societal development with environmental and climate sustainability. There is a lot more work to be done, but we have taken the important first steps, and we now need to accelerate the momentum on driving further action and take-up.
In this session, we will hear from selected businesses and non-government organisations that are on the forefront of science-driven conservation of tropical rainforest and protection of carbon sinks in key sites across Malaysia. Join us to hear how these six organisations (representing forest conservation, plantation and property development) have fared in driving lasting change, and we invite you to challenge yourselves as to how you can most effectively support them to maximise impacts. Forests are local, carbon is global. These crucial carbon sinks and the natural guardians of the rainforests need our support.
This session is organised and curated by Climate Governance Malaysia, the local country chapter of the World Economic Forum's climate governance initiative for non-executive directors, whose goal is to support climate resilience in this mega-biodiverse nation.
This event is part of the Nature and Science and Climate Impacts and Adaptation programs.