All our publications and other materials

Current publications | Search

A Quick Scan of Peatlands in Malaysia

This  report  presents  the  first  national  assessment  of  peatlands  in Malaysia.  It  identifies  remaining peatlands  of  high  conservation  value,  the loss of peatlands and the use of these carbon dense area for for instance palm oil production.



Malaysia, comprising the regions of Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, and Sarawak, supports some of the most  extensive  tropical peatlands  in  the world. Malaysia’s peatlands mainly  consist of peat  swamp forest, a critically endangered category of  forested wetland characterised by deep  layers of peat soil and waters  so  acidic  that many  of  the  plants  and  animals  found  in  them  do  not  occur  in  the  other tropical  forests  of Asia.


Despite  these values,  the peatlands of Malaysia are  the most highly  threatened of all  its  forests and wetlands.  Vast  areas  of  peat  swamp  forest  have  been  cleared,  burnt,  and  drained  for economic development  and  few  of Malaysia’s  peatlands  remain  intact.  Remaining  peatlands  continue  to be cleared, particularly for oil palm plantations, to meet domestic and international demand for palm oil and other  agricultural  products.


Project funded by the Kleine Natuur Initiatief Projecten, Royal Netherlands Embassy 

Also relevant for this topic: Impact of oil palm plantations on peatland conversion in Sarawak 2005-2010.

share by email email