Malaysia: Ulu Muda Forest Complex in Kedah State
The state of Kedah is considered to be the ‘Rice Bowl of Malaysia’ supplying the nation with 40 percent of the crop. Located in the northwest of the peninsular part of the country, it is one of the oldest states in terms of human settlement, dating back to the 4th century BCE. Yet the Ulu Muda Forest Complex has relatively low levels of human intrusion and is therefore an extremely biodiverse part of the country. In recent years, however, illegal logging and poaching have been increasing, and the effects of climate change has produced drier dry seasons and wetter wet seasons, leading to increased droughts, fires and flooding.
The Kedah Landscape Initiative’s objective is to improve the protection status of at least 60% of the Ulu Muda Forest Complex, restoring the connectivity of the biological corridor, improving the quality of the Sungai Muda river and enhancing the functions of the Muda irrigation areas.
Furthermore, conservation targets include protecting 160,000 ha in the Ulu Muda rainforest block, protecting the largest forest elephant population in Peninsular Malaysia and ensuring ecological flows of Muda River.
The Lab became formally involved in 2019 with a team training and initial stakeholder discussion. Over the next few years, there are plans to design a REDD+ finance programme and identify bankable projects.