Land Use And Management Policy Of Forests Environmental Sciences

Essay add: 27-11-2017, 10:08   /   Views: 236

The mangrove forests provide a variety of goods (from forestry to fishery products) and services (from environmental to navigational) and they are under the jurisdiction and management of each of the state forestry department and not on a multi sectoral basis. When these coastal forests have to be connected to alternative uses (for example fishing ponds or housing estates) the jurisdiction lies essentially with each of the states' executive councils.

Discuss the land use and management policy that involve this type of land.


What is mangrove?

Mangroves generally referred to trees and shrubs that grow in saline coastal habitats in the tropics and subtropics. It is one of the primary features in the coastal ecosystems throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. They are often referred to as a forest between the land and the sea. ( Mangrove forests have a unique ecosystem that can be found along the coastal zone and grow abundantly in saline soil and brackish water. Climate, salinity of water, fluctuation of tides and type of soil affect their distribution around the world. Recently, other factors also contribute to its distribution such as tidal wetlands development for residential as well as industrial uses such as shrimp farms. Its specific characteristics like tough root systems, special bark and leaf structures and other unique adaptations enable them to survive in their habitat's harsh conditions.

Mangroves Ecosystem

Mangroves can be classified into three different species zone;

Avicennia-Sonneratia zone- the species that tolerate with soft soils loosened by daily tidal flooding and bury massive root systems just below the mud. The trees normally survive at the edge of beach water.

Bruguiera-Rhizophora zone - the species endures flooding only on high tide on more compressed soils. They are sited on slightly higher ground than the first zone.

Back Mangrove zone - Dominantly the nipa palm, where the forests are in brakish waters, with large feathery leaves, grows in contiguous thickets on riverbanks.


With regards to mangroves forests in Malaysia, there are about 0.58 million hectares which 0.10 million hectares are located in Peninsular Malaysia, 0.34 million in Sabah and 0.14 million hectares in Sarawak. (Forestry Department of Peninsular Malaysia (FDPM), 2006). They cover 52% of 4,800 kilometres of coastal area of Malaysia. Mangroves in Malaysia are dominated largely by Rhizophora trees (bakau). In Peninsular Malaysia, most of the mangroves forests are located along the sheltered west coast, in the states of Johor, Kedah, Perak and Selangor and along the east coast, mainly in the states of Terengganu and Pahang. In Sabah, mangroves are found mainly on the east coast, while in Sarawak, they are located in the Sarawak River Delta, Rejang Delta and the Trusan-Lawas Rivers. The mangroves of Malaysia form the third largest mangrove forests in the Asia-Pacific region after Indonesia and Australia.

As a fact, mangroves forests in Malaysia represent 2.5% of the global mangrove resource which contribute RM650 million annually to the national economy through its commercial timber. The Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, widely regarded as the best managed mangrove forest in the world, has been sustainably managed for timber since the 1920s.


Johor has a total of 20,533 hectares of mangrove forests which comprises of 1.09% of the state land area. These forests are spotted largely in the administrative districts of Pontian, Kota Tinggi and Johor Bahru. A total of 17,185 hectares of the area has been gazetted as Permanent Forest Reserves (PFR), while the remaining 3,348 hectares are state lands, reserves and alienated land. The districts of Pontian, Kota Tinggi and Johor Bahru share all the state's mangroves, while Batu Pahat, Muar and Mersing share a minor portion


The largest mainland mangrove forest of Kedah is the Sungai Merbok Mangrove Forest Reserve that measures approximately 4,085.9 hectares. The remaining are located in Pulau Langkawi (3,116 hectares). The Sungai Merbok is situated on the northwest side of the Peninsular Malaysia with tidal estuary stretches for 35 kilometres and is mangroved-fringed (Wetland International-Asia Pacific, 1992). Within the Langkawi Island, there are three large mangrove areas namely Kuala Kisap-Gua Cherita mangroves, the Sungai Ayer Hangat-Kubang Badak mangroves, and Pulau Dayang Bunting-Pulau Tuba mangroves (Kedah State Forestry Department, 2000).


The mangrove forests of the state of Perak is the Matang mangroves. It is situated in the administrative district of Krian, Larut / Matang and Manjung. It actually comprises of 19 independently gazetted forest reserves. The total area excluding major waterways is approximately 40,466 hectares (Perak State Forestry Department, 2005).


The entire mangrove forests in Selangor, faces the Straits of Malacca and are distributed both in the islands and on the mainland. The largest concentration of mangroves in Selangor are found on the island in the administration district of Klang and the balance on the mainland distributed in patches along major river estuaries and as thin strips fronting along the sea. The mangroves in Selangor experience the largest decline from 1957 to 2002. Presently, there are a total of 14,897 hectares mangrove forests that gazetted under PFR of which 8,760 hectares are productive forest and the balance of 6,227 hectares are non-productive forest. Apart from the mangrove forest in the PRF, there are still a total of 4,606 hectares of stateland mangroves outside the PRF located in Pulau Ketam.


Based on the forest inventory carried out in 1969-1972, the total area of Sabah mangroves is 341,377 hectares, which is about 4.6% of the total landmass of Sabah. A total of 317,423 hectares (93%) of the total mangrove area in the state has been gazetted as permanent forest reserves.


About 60% of the 740 kilometres long coastline of Sarawak is fringed by mangroves (Anon., 1998). Based on the satellite imagery for 1995/1996 mangrove forests cover some 142,693 hectares or less than 2% of the total forested area of Sarawak. Mangroves are found mainly along the coastline in all the Divisions except Kapit and Bintulu. However, the areas are more significantly found in Kuching, Mukah and Sarikei Divisions. Of the total, only about 48% is under the permanent forests, which include the Rajang mangrove, Sarawak mangrove and Lawas mangrove.


The uniqueness of mangrove ecosystem is widely acknowledged. They are one of the most important coastal ecosystem in the world in terms of their roles in both terrestrial and aquatic production Mangrove forests made up of both a community of living things and the non-living environment. They are rich of nutrients, bacteria, fungi and algae thrive on the debris such as fallen mangrove leaves that are washed down by the river. Therefore, mangrove forests have variety of functions. As in Malaysia and other Southeast Asia their ecosystem can be structurally categorized into Mangrove Tidal Forest with large trees and the Nipa Swamp characterized by the stemless palm Nypa fruticans Wurmb (Palmae). Together with the aquatic habitats created by the inundating water and the water contained in the tidal streams comprise the mangrove ecosystem.

Therefore, the functions of mangrove can be categorized at two levels (De la Cruz, 1979).

At the ecosystem level - that is the use of wetlands as a whole including the intertidal zone, the immediate dry land and the neighbouring littoral areas for various system and global functions,

At a component level, that is, the uses of the primary biotic component, mainly the mangrove vegetation products for various purposes.


Forestry Activities

Mangroves are an important resource especially to the coastal communities, which in the past depends on it for their subsistent living. For example in Matang mangroves, people have traditionally used mangroves for variety of uses. Timbers for mangroves are used for firewood, poles for foundation, construction material, cordwood, firewood, wood chips, charcoal and tannin. Poles are mainly used for piling in the domestic construction industry and for fishing stakes.

Tannin was once used for the preservation of fishing nets. Tannin has not been used because of the availability of nylon strings, which can be used as fishing nets. Mangroves also provide raw materials for wood-based industries including board mills, rayon mills, match factory and charcoal products. The demand for mangrove wood products has decreased with the availability of substitutes in the fuel and construction industry (Marajan, 2005). Matang is the largest producer of mangrove charcoal and blood clams (Anadara granosa) in Peninsular Malaysia (Azahar Muda & others, 2005).

Fishery Activities

The mangrove ecosystem is capable of providing variety of goods and services directly or indirectly. Mangroves are also important nursery and breeding areas for coastal fish resources. Rajang mangroves in Sarawak had recorded 76 species from 43 families of fishes and crustaceans (James ak Bali, 1997).

The freshwater prawn spawns in the brackish waters of mangrove areas and the larvae nurse in the estuary for a bout a month before they are 18-21 mm in length before migrating back to the freshwater habitat in the upstream. Larval of marine shellfish such as species of penaied shrimps and crabs come to mangrove areas to nurse and grow. Fry for the highly valued milkfish appear in estuarine waters after they are spawned in deep waters in the sea and stay in shallow brackish waters most of their lifetime. Apparently the larvae and juvenile forms need the protective cover of the mangrove vegetation from extreme radiation. Thus removal of shoreline vegetation can affect the survival potential of these important species.

In Selangor, the mangroves support a thriving fishing industry stretching from Kuala Bernam Forest Reserve in the north to the Sepang Forest Reserve in the south. There are about 20 fishing villages both small and large distributed throughout the coastline and river estuaries in Selangor. It gives employment to about 1,500 people in fishery related activities conducted on land. Aquaculture also carried out in a large scale especially cage-fish culture, which mostly concentrated around the Pulau Ketam Forest.

Wildlife Sanctuary

As silt retainer and land builder

In the past where permanent structures like lighthouse supposedly located near the water edge, however due to the tidal flats that moved towards the sea, the structure were then lies some kilometres inland. Under the right hydrological and climatic conditions, mangrove communities will build land very fast. The land accretion process supposedly begin when organic debris get trapped by the prop roots and pneumatophores of the front line vegetations such as Rhizophora species and/ or Avicennia marina respectively (De La Cruz, 1974). Continuous deposition of organic material provides suitable substrates for new seedlings to establish, and growth of new trees seaward propagates the silt deposition process.

As wildlife sanctuary

Apart of providing physical habitat and nursery for variety of marine lives, mangrove forests are also the home for population of a variety mammal species, such as the Smooth Otter (Lutra perspicillata), Leopard Cat (Felis Bengalensis), Common Wild Pig (Sus scrofa), Long tailed Macaque (Macaca farcicularis) and Silvered Langur (Presbytis cristata). Estuarine crocodiles (Crocodilus porosus) are still present in Matang but sightings are rare. There are many varieties of snakes and monitor lizards.

Mangroves provide physical habitat and nursery grounds for a wide variety of marine organisms, many of which have important recreational or commercial value. For example, the pneumataphores and prop roots of the mangrove provide safety for many marine animals, sheltering crabs, shrimp, fish and clams, protecting many from predators.

Some animals, such as proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) also feed primarily on mangrove leaves for food; water monitor lizards and other dwell nearby and rely on mangroves for a steady supply of food; long-tailed macaques search for crabs at low tide and birds find food and shelter in the mangroves.

In homestead

In transportation development

In mining and petroleum exploration

Other ecosystem and global functions


Industrial and economic uses

Thatching material


Pulp and chipwood


Scaffold Poles and foundations pilings

Firewood and charcoal

Traditional or folk uses

The non-wood products such as leaves from Nipah (Nypa frutican) are important as thatching materials for roof and tobacco wrappers. Mangroves also provide raw materials for indigenous medicine. For instance, species such as Tumu (Bruguiera gymnorrhiza), Berus (Bruiguiera cyclindrica), Api-api (Avicennia spp.), Parapat (Sonneratia alba) and Nyireh (Xylocarpus spp.) are used to treat a range of ailments including fractures, hemorrhage, diarrhoea, minor cuts and sore throats. The edible products include the fruits of Sonneratia spp., honey, wildlife, fishes, crustaceans, fodder, alcoholic drinks and nipah sugar and salt. (Marajan, 2005)


Functions of mangroves- (refer website SIMEDARBY)

( services: refer dr. Latif (page:150) and goods: refer page: 125-136 : buku symposium mangroves/ chapter function of mangroves )

Protection of coastlines against waves and wind erosion

Mangroves serve as storm buffers by reducing wind and wave action in shallow shoreline areas.

Mangroves trap and cycle various organic materials, chemical elements, and important nutrients in the coastal eco-system.

Mangroves provide one of the basic food chain resources for marine organisms. The leaves of mangroves last for approximately a year before falling into the water where bacteria and fungus decompose the leaves - these leaves form the base of the food chain. The mixture of decaying plant material, soil, water, fungus and bacteria makes up detritus (pronounced "di-tri-tes") which provides food for marine organisms - i.e. crabs, shrimps, oysters, clams, anchovies, mullets. These marine species in turn provide food for larger species, i.e. Sea Bass, Cat fish, Red Drum, Mangrove Snapper, Tarpon and Threadfin which in turn provide food for Otters, Dolphins, Crocodiles, Herons, Egrets, Storks, Eagles - and humans.

Mangroves provide resources for coastal communities who depend on the plants for timber, fuel, food, medicinal herbs and other forest products.


Issue: Threats to mangroves in Malaysia:

Refer SIMEDARBY websites

Refer Zana

Refer Jin Eong : Loss of Merbok

Refer page 36 : Buku Matang Mangrove

#Land use conversion -

Jin eong ong


Laws and policies

Mangrove forest around the world are fast gaining recognition as important natural habitats, so as the mangroves in Malaysia, which need to be managed and conserved for the well-beings of communities whose livelihoods depend on them and their role in stabilising the coastal ecosystem.

Recognising the significant important to retain the mangroves forests, the Malaysian government is fully committed to the implementation of sustainable management practices within these forests. Special emphasis to the protection of the mangrove forests is duly recognised and given specific attention in the National Forestry Act 1984. The commitment is further enshrined in the revised National Forestry Policy 1992. The policy provides guidelines and strong emphasis on the necessity for sound management, conservation, utilisation, development and protection of the mangrove forests in Malaysia. The needs to protect and conserve forest resources are further strengthened and highlighted in the National Economic Recovery plan 1998.

The future of Mangroves

Fed Const. - can form council to

Land Use and Management Policies on Mangroves

International Commitments/Policies- Refer Zana

Federal Level

Refer NPP

Program Penanaman Bakau : Kumulatif Spesis sehingga April 2009 (refer Table)- landuse (conservation of angroves)

Dasar Perhutanan Negara


State Level

Refer Zana

Refer Jin Ong


Dasar Perhutanan Negara

Wetland Policy



EIA - supposed on the impact despite on hectarage

Gazzet more mangroves area

Explore socio-economic benefits / diversify the


Article name: Land Use And Management Policy Of Forests Environmental Sciences essay, research paper, dissertation