UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Planning timber supply from the forests of Peninsular Malaysai Hadi, Yusuf bin


Since 1957, growth of forestry and forest industries in Peninsular Malaysia has been rapid and uncoordinated. Annual timber production from the permanent forest estate and forests designated for agriculture increased six times to 11.6 million m³ in 1979. Lumber and plywood mill capacity expanded seven times to 10.1 million m³. Previous estimates of the annually available timber supply have ranged from 4.5 to 17.0 million m³. This thesis presents improved methods of planning timber supply for Peninsular Malaysia which should remedy the three major shortcomings in previous analyses and the current planning system. The improved methods consider, for the first time, the full range of timber utilization and forest management possibilities for Peninsular Malaysia, and describe additional potential sources of wood. In addition, the analysis of timber supply state by state could involve the hitherto neglected state governments which own and manage the forests within their territories. Linear programming (Timber RAM) is used to optimize timber supply, as a superior alternative to the traditional area control. Ten scenarios for timber utilization and forest management are considered for Peninsular Malaysia. Only one scenario, representing modest improvement in logging and extensive management of the indigenous forests, is analysed state by state because of insufficient data. The potential for expanded harvests is substantial. However, the magnitude of future harvests is difficult to define because responses of trees to various silvicultural treatments and the eventual extent of the productive forests and priorities likely to be assigned to timber management are not now fully understood. Future annual timber harvests could be increased up to 73.3 million m³, seven times the current harvest, if all productive indigenous forests were converted to plantations of fast-growing species. Increases could also result from improved methods of logging, use of smaller trees and more species, intensification of management, and better utilization of rubberwood, oil palm, mangroves, and forest and mill residues. On the other hand, major timber shortages are likely to occur if current wasteful logging and inadequate management continue. Harvests could be reduced 70 percent. The north-eastern states (Perak, Kelantan, Trengganu and Pahang) will continue to supply more than 70 percent of total timber production. Any increase in harvest from improved timber utilization and forest management will occur mainly in these states. Growth of forest industries, which has started in these states, will continue and accelerate. In contrast, the southwestern states are experiencing a timber shortage, and should shift to further processing of timber to utilize existing infrastructure and available manpower. The recommended planning methods could form the core of a computer-assisted forest planning system for Peninsular Malaysia. The ability of linear programming to help define alternatives, to optimize, and to carry out efficient, effective, and reproducible timber supply calculations should assist planners. Substantial effort should be devoted by Malaysian planners and managers to secure the additional information needed to make the planning system even more helpful in the future. The general approach described here could be used interactively now by the federal and state forestry departments to quantify desirable changes in timber supply and to define implications of various inputs and policies. Before local application the results should incorporate improved data and any changes needed in assumptions regarding the biological, physical, socio-economic and political factors then prevailing in Malaysia. The techniques used for data processing and analysis should employ the best technology available in the country.

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