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Thursday, 13 October 2016

Diversity and Conservation of Tropical Forestry Species in Southeast Asia

Published Date

Marzalina Mansor 


Conservation of forest ecosystems in majority of Southeast Asia countries faces several major challenges. Coverage of protected areas is not adequate often exist as islands, surrounded by densely populated areas with incompatible land uses. Besides that a successful long-term conservation of forestry species even in their own natural ecosystems requires a good understanding of the ecological interactions between species, and the challenges begin with the surveying and inventorying of existing resources. Thus comparative studies at species level and intraspecific levels of reproductive output, mating patterns and regeneration processes involving trees in large contiguous forests and small fragments will pose challenges to conserve forest ecosystems. Additional research aiming at the development of ex situ conservation techniques, including slow growth storage and cryopreservation, and at the understanding of the biological mechanisms determining recalcitrance of species conserved is also required.
While timber is economically the most important forest product, many other products are valued both on world markets and by local people. Conserving natural forests is not only for biodiversity but also of the important role played by in the provision of environmental and social services. Strengthening the role of the timber industry in biodiversity conservation will require improvements in collaborations between the timber industry and local communities, as well as the providing the alternatives to sustain the need of timber industry. The innovation of engineered lumber from the waste biomass will be an option to be considered in the era of green wood technology.
Although numerous initiatives both national and international bodies are working together with SEA countries to address the variety of issues related to forest genetic conservation there are still lack of coordination between and among external agencies and international donors for most of the initiatives. Many of the duplication of activities are seen to be occurred in countries that have substantial infrastructure and government support as compared to poor countries in SEA.


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