National Strategies on Responsible Management of Tropical Peatland in Malaysia

Peatland is the most extensive wetland ecosystem in Malaysia covering approximately 2.5 million ha or 7.5% of total land area of the country (Department of Environment (DOE), Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in implementing peat fire prevention program to combat haze in Malaysia, 2019; DOE, Draft Master Plan for Management of Fire Prone Peatlands in Malaysia 2021–2030, 2019). This ecosystem is of critical value for conservation of biodiversity, regulation of climate change and water resources, and support for socio-economy of the population. The management of this unique wetland type has been a challenge due to its complex nature and the fact that it is prone to fire and subsidence when over-drained. The majority of peatland is managed for forestry and agriculture purposes. There is a specific National Action Plan for Peatlands (NAPP) developed and endorsed by the Malaysian Cabinet in 2011 for its implementation till 2020. The NAPP has been guided by the regional ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (AATHP) which Malaysia signed in 2002 and ratified in 2003 and the associated ASEAN Peatland Management Strategy (APMS) 2006–2020. Malaysia has been actively involved and participated in negotiations and discussions within the national, regional and international platforms in tackling peatland and smoke haze related issues and challenges. Malaysia has also been responsive on the internal and external transboundary haze matters and taking action to establish and implement a national programme on peatland fire prevention and management since 2009. The national programme has been focusing to provide financial and technical support to seven peatland fire prone states within the country. Rehabilitation of degraded peatland area has been included as one of key indicators for the National Policy on Biological Diversity 2016–2025. A National Peatland Working Committee (NPWC) and a National Peatland Steering Committee (NPSC) have been established to coordinate and facilitate the stakeholders’ efforts in sustainably managing the peatland ecosystems in the country.
  • Authors: Parish, F., Lew, S.Y.., Mohd Hassan, A.H.
  • Author Affiliation: Global Environment Centre
  • Subjects: peatlands, ecosystem management, fire prevention, rehabilitation, national planning, policy, governance
  • Publication type: Chapter-R
  • Source: Osaki, M., Tsuji, N., Foead, N., Rieley, J., (eds). 2021. Tropical Peatland Eco-management. 677-723
  • Year: 2021
  • ISSN: 978-981-334-654-3
  • DOI:
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