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Forest Canopy Research and Sustainable Use of

Forest Canopy Biodiversity


Malaysian National Workshop
University of Malaysia Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah,
Malaysia 5-7th March 2007

Generously funded by the Global


Opportunities Fund,
UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office
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Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation, University Malaysia Sabah
The Institute for Topical Biology and Conservation has allowed for local scientists to work more
closely together exploring the diverse and vast centre of natural resource - the Tropical Rain Forest.
ITBC’s objectives are to: 1) To be a research and reference centre in the field of tropical biology
and conservation. 2) To be the node for database for the purpose of management and assessment.
3) To carry out studies on tropical rain forest and freshwater bodies as well as the conservation of
the organisms and habitats. 4) To provide well trained and skilful manpower in the fields of
tropical biology and conservation through long and short term programmes and supervision. 5) To
organize forum (conference, training and workshops) in the field of tropical biology and
conservation.

Global Canopy Programme (GCP)


‘A global alliance linking major studies of forest canopies worldwide into a collaborative
programme of research, education and conservation addressing biodiversity, climate change and
poverty alleviation’
www.globalcanopy.org

Acknowledgements
This workshop was supported with funds from the UK Government Foreign Office Global
Opportunities Fund. Additional financial support was provided by the University of Malaysia Sabah
(UMS) and the Global Canopy Programme.
The workshop was organised by UMS with support from the Global Canopy Programme. Special
thanks should go to Dr Henry Bernard and to Katherine Secoy of the Global Canopy Programme
and their respective teams, for their tireless efforts in undertaking the workshop and in compiling
this report. On behalf of all the delegates we would like to pay special thanks to the donors for their
support without which the workshop would not have been possible.

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CONTENTS

1.0 Welcoming Remarks

Summary of Workshop Outputs

2.0 Malaysian and The UNEP / Whole Forest Observatory Project

2.1 Whole Forest Observatories: An International Network for Monitoring Canopy


Biodiversity and Global Climate Change. An introduction and update

2.2 Strategic Importance of the WFO Project to Malaysia

2.3 Progress in Malaysia on the Whole Forest Observatory Project

2.4 Discussion – Redefining the Malaysian WFO Steering and Technical Committee and
Determining stakeholders to be involved in each aspect of the WFO project

3.0 What is the status of canopy science in Malaysia today?

3.1 Canopy research in Danum valley, Sabah – a synopsis

3.2 Building Capacity for Canopy Research

3.3 Existing Canopy Atmospheric Research in Malaysia – a synopsis

3.4 Discussion: Future Needs in Malaysian Canopy research. Meeting the Policy Needs of
Malaysian Government.

3.5 Discussion: The Role of Malaysia in the Global Network of Whole Forest
Observatories

4.0 Supporting Local Livelihoods through Sustainable Use of Forest Canopies

4.1 Current Human Use of Forest Canopies in Malaysia

4.2 Discussion: Agreeing the Strategy to identify and replicate best practice models for
canopy horticulture.

4.3 New Opportunities for Canopy Ecotourism in Malaysia

4.4 Existing Canopy Ecotourism in Malaysia

4.5 Discussion: Agreeing a Strategy to identify and replicate best practice models for
canopy ecotourism.

5.0 Developing Strategies for the Future

5.1 Valuation of Forest Canopy Ecosystem Services

5.2 Evaluating and Trading Canopy Ecosystem Services

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5.3 Peatland Degradation and Climate Change – A case Study

5.4 Discussion: Agreeing a strategy for estimating the Value of Canopy ecosystem services
to identify the links between the economic value for canopy biodiversity and
ecosystem services and benefits to people.

Discussion: Creating a Strategy for Applying Compensated Reduction and Payments


for Ecosystem services to Malaysian Forest Conservation Policies.

6.0 Concluding Remarks

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Acronyms

BCAP Basic Canopy Access Proficiency


FSP Full Scale Project
GAW Global Atmosphere Watch
GCP Global Canopy Programme
GEF Global Environment Facility
GEFSEC Global Environment Facility Secretariat
MonRE Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment
MoSTI Ministry of Science and Technology
OFP Operational Focal Point
PDFB Programme Development Fund (A) or (B)
RAF Resource Allocation Fund
STAP Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel
SUSCAN Sustainable Use of Forest Canopies
UKFCO United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office
UMS University of Malaysia Sabah
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNEP United Nations Environment Programme
UPM University Putra Malaysia
VOCs Volatile Organic Compounds
WFO Whole Forest Observatory

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Forest Canopy Research and Sustainable Use of Forest Canopy
Biodiversity

Malaysian National Workshop


University of Malaysia Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia 5/7th
March 2007

1.0 Welcome remarks of Y.Bhg. Prof. Datuk Dr. Mohd. Noh Dalimin, vice
chancellor of Universiti Malaysia Sabah

Y.Berusaha Prof. Datin Dr. Maryati Mohamed, Director of the Institute for Tropical Biology and
Conservation, UMS; Mr. Andrew Mitchell, Executive Director of the Global Canopy Programme
(or GCP), United Kingdom; Deans; Professors; Head of Departments of UMS; Participants of the
workshop; Ladies and gentlemen, Good morning.

It is a great pleasure to welcome all of your to this Malaysian National Workshop on “Forest
Canopy Research and Sustainable use of Forest Canopy Biodiversity”. I am pleased to note the
presence of participants from Organizations from as far as the United Kingdom, and that many of
you have come from the Federal Government’s Departments and Agencies based in the Peninsular
Malaysia. I am equally pleased to see the strong presence of participants from the Departments
and Agencies of the Sabah State Government. I am sure your inputs from your different
backgrounds, varying interests and experiences in your respective fields will contribute towards a
lively discussion and fruitful workshop. I am very positive the workshop will generate a high level
of exchange in knowledge and communication about the policy, management, research and
sustainable use of natural resources; the forest canopy in particular, and the environment in
general.

I was informed that the canopy is one of the richest, if not the richest, in terms of biodiversity. It is
thought that 40% of all species live in the canopy; 10% of all vascular plants are canopy dwellers
and 20-25% of all invertebrate species may be unique to the canopy. Yet the canopy is most
threatened and least explored habitat on the surface of the earth. Recent studies estimated that 70-
80% of invertebrates captured in the upper canopy of tropical rainforests are not described by
science. The canopy is also important as it influences global climate. Forest canopies intercept
25% of precipitation over 45 million hectares of the land surface globally and 90% of the earth’s
biomass interfaces with the atmosphere through forest canopies.

As you know Sabah contains some of the oldest and richest rainforests on earth with trees growing
to more than 75 m tall. Bornean lowland dipterocarp rainforest is the tallest rainforest on the
earth, but due to the difficulties in reaching and studying the forest canopy, this habitat is least
studied. In recent years, however, more and more pioneering scientists have begun to develop ways
to reach the canopy.

The development of the “Canopy Training course for ASEAN region in Sabah” heralds the start of
a new era of research for ASEAN forest scientists. The course which is the first of its kind to be
conducted in this region to teach scientists, students, conservationists and forest managers to climb
into the trees and to conduct canopy studies has been developed by the Global Canopy Programme
and Universiti Malaysia Sabah in collaboration with the Yayasan Sabah and the Royal Society
south East Asian Rainforest Research Programme of the United Kingdom. The three-year

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programme which started in 2005 received the U.K. Government’s Darwin Initiative funding.
Recently in January/February 2007, at Danum Valley, this programme has completed its third and
final training course. In total more than 60 people have participated on the training course, many
of whom are postgraduate students and young scientists from six ASEAN countries, including
China, Japan and Papua New Guinea.

Although the canopy training programme has ended, its contents have been adopted as part of the
Academic Curriculum of UMS and will therefore continue to be taught under the leadership of
UMS. We believe that the training course, which is now available as a 2 credit hour optional
module (called Canopy Biology) under the Masters in Taxonomy and Biodiversity Programme
offered by the Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation, UMS, will attract more students and
young scientists from around the ASEAN region in the near future. In this connection, we are
confident that UMS will emerge as one of the first institutions of high learning in Malaysia, and
probably in the ASEAN region as well, which offers such module.

A number of development activities on research and management of the forest canopies and other
associated projects are under way or planned in the next few years in Sabah. The Canopy Biology
module has already been established in UMS. Two canopy walkways (platforms suspended from 20
to 30 m above ground) are available in Danum Valley and Poring, Kinablalu Park, respectively. A
100 m tall canopy flux tower is installed in Danum Valley under the Global Atmospheric Watch
(GAW), and one of the five ‘Whole Forest Observatories’ (WFOs), which will include the
construction of a canopy crane and associated research, including the economic potential of
NTFPs from the canopy and ‘Canopy based eco-tourism’ as well as the establishment of the global
canopy based conservation network, is in planning phase with UNEP and GEF of the World Bank.

We are very grateful that Universiti Malaysia Sabah has been identified as the National Executing
Agency (NEA) of the WFO initiative for Malaysia in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural
Resources and the Environment (MoNRE). As the Vice Chancellor of UMS, I promise you that
UMS would assist wherever necessary to ensure that the WFO project will get off the ground.
Having said that however, no one individual or institution could ensure of guarantee the success of
this project. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to invite all of your to state your stakes
in the WFO and to join in this extremely useful and exciting project. Together, let’s make this
project we all can be proud of.

In my opinion the decision of placing the WFO project in Sabah is justified, as we believe that no
other Malaysian States and in fact, no other ASEAN countries has invested so much for canopy
science and infrastructure. We are proud that Sabah is fast becoming the centre of canopy science
not only in Malaysia but in the ASEAN region, and we are happy that UMS is contributing
significantly to this encouraging development. Although the WFO project will be conducted in
Sabah, the project clearly will benefit everyone.

I wish you all the best in this workshop and hope that the workshop will achieve its intended
objectives. I would like to thank Mr. Andrew Mitchell, the Executive Director of the Global Canopy
Programme, U.K. for assisting UMS with the running of this workshop and the British High
Commissioners for sponsoring this workshop. Finally, I wish you all a productive and fruitful
workshop.

With that, I have pleasure to declare the Malaysian National Workshop on “Forest Canopy
Research and Sustainable use of Forest Canopy Biodiversity” open.

Thank You.

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Summary of Workshop Outputs

• Dissemination of current concepts and methods in canopy science among Malaysian


scientists.
• Dissemination of current concepts and methods in canopy ecotourism among Malaysian
stakeholders.
• Dissemination of current concepts and methods in canopy farming and sustainable
livelihoods to Malaysian stakeholders.
• Further engagement of the ITBC with the UNEP/GEF funded ‘Whole Forest Observatory’
project.

2.0 Malaysia and the UNEP/Whole Forest Observatory Project

2.1 Whole Forest Observatories (WFO): An international network for monitoring


canopy biodiversity and global climate change. Introduction and Update
Andrew Mitchell, Executive Director, Global Canopy Programme

Andrew Mitchell presented a talk addressing the state of canopy science today and the needs for the
future. Emphasising the importance of joined up science & multidisciplinarity he detailed the work
of the GCP and it’s associated international network of scientists and introduced a groundbreaking
new initiative to examine the world’s forest canopies through a pan-tropical network of Whole
Forest Observatories.

Andrew updated delegates on the progress with funding application for the WFO, which is currently
stalled due to restructuring within the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Whilst the delays were
unexpected all partner countries have done a good job to maintain the project’s progress, without
funding and Andrew thanked all the Malaysian National Execution Agency (NEA), ITBC for
maintaining the projects viability. Whilst there will be continued delays, the GEF restructuring
should be finalised by the June GEFSEC meeting. GEF will then be seeking project proposals in
the autumn. Andrew reported that all partner countries had supported the idea of merging the
PDFB design phase of the project with the full scale project to try and regain some of the planned
timeline. Andrew stressed the importance of maintaining the support of the Malaysian GEF
operational focal point (OFP) and stressed the need for both cash and in-kind co-financing from
Malaysia.

2.2 Strategic Importance of the WFO project to Malaysia


Professor Datin Dr Maryati Mohamed

Professor Datin Dr Maryati, Mohamed gave an outline of Malaysia’s contribution to the WFO
Project and iterated that it was important that the ITBC research existing canopy science activities
that are going on within Malaysia and that future work was prioritised. She stressed the need for
collaboration amongst the various Malaysian stakeholder groups and that it was time to identify
who was willing to participate in the in the project. She stressed the importance of collaboration if
the WFO project is to be successful.

Professor Maryati recognised ITBC’s obligation to both the National and International communities
and stated the importance of the WFO project if the global community is to understand the
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interactions between forests and the atmosphere. As signatories to the Convention on Biological
Diversity it is important that Malaysia participates in international projects and gains a full
understanding of their immense biodiversity and encourage sustainable use and management of
Malaysia’s resources.

As Malaysia is also a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol Prof Maryati stressed the importance of
creating linkages between the GAW and WFO projects.

The Whole Forest Observatory project will provide opportunities for scientists, including social
scientists and economists from various agencies to work together. UMS cannot do it alone.
Professor Maryati called on all relevant Universities, NGO’s and Government departments to work
together to take a multidisciplinary approach.

Malaysia has always been criticized for its deforestation activities, which make way for
socioeconomic development. Now it is timely that Malaysia be acknowledged to being more
environmentally concerned and ahead in Research and Development on biodiversity and climate
change issues. The WFO project could change the global view on Malaysia, illustrating that
Malaysian is not only using their forests but they are working hard to maintain them and that they
are more environmentally concerned.

Professor Maryati called on other national organisations to help UMS carry the national banner.

2.3 Progress in Malaysia on the WFO Project


Dr Henry Bernard

Dr Henry Bernard gave delegates an overview of the progress that has been made in the preparation
for the WFO project. Working groups and Steering Committees have been approved and staff have
been hired at ITBC to work directly on the project.

RM166,000 cash, and 243,000RM has been obtained as co financing for the project. The
Operational Focal point in Malaysia has been fully informed about the project and has written
letters of endorsement to UNEP. 62 ASEAN participants have been trained under the Basic
Canopy Access Proficiency Course, two to instructor level and the Chief Minister of Sabah has
agreed to provide the necessary support to ensure that the course is run as part of the Canopy
Biology course curriculum at the UMS.

Several members of staff have been undergoing training at ITBC and preliminary data has been
collected in preparation for the project. International linkages are being made with organisations in
the ASEAN region.

ITBC has also been successful in gaining MOSTi research grants for canopy research including 1)
Inventory and ecology of canopy organisms, 2) Biogenic VOCs in the landscape and its role in the
Malaysian cycle; 3) Ecology of the Crocker Range from Mt Kinabalu to Kimanis Bay.

2.4 Discussion – Redefining the Malaysian WFO Steering and Technical Committee and
Determining stakeholders to be involved in each aspect of the WFO project

It was agreed that the Steering Committee needed to be re-established especially as some members
have moved on including Prof Huzaimah, originally the chair, has now retired. It was agreed that
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MonRE should chair the meeting and liaise with the GEF focal point and UNDP to smooth
requirements at the national level. There was a request to have someone from the GCP to facilitate
international collaboration.

It was decided that MonRE should take the lead in the project seeing as it is a national project but
UMS needed to identify who this should be. There was a suggestion that Datuk Satu Subo could be
a potential chair. Other organisations that should be represented in the committee included:

• Conservation Section of MONRA


• MOSTI
• UNDP
• State Secretary of Sabah
• Key partners (MMS, UPM)
• Economic Planning Unit
• Ministry of Higher Education
• Ministry of Finance

It was agreed that this committee should meet once a year. For particular decisions that needed to
be made it was agreed that Ad hoc committees should be brought together as needs be.

3.0 What is the status of canopy science in Malaysia today?

3.1 Canopy Research in Danum Valley, Sabah - a synopsis


Dr Glen Reynolds, South East Asian Rainforest Research Project, Royal Society

After describing the facilities available at Danum Valley Research Station, Dr Glen Reynolds gave
an overview of the canopy research that has been undertaken at in the conservation area over the
past 20 years. Of the 120 post doctoral, PhD and Masters project that have been completed over
this time only 3 have focussed solely on forest canopies. This included ‘Effects of logging on
arboreal ants’, the role of canopy epiphytes in supporting canopy biodiversity’ and ‘plant animal
interactions in the canopy of primary and selectively logged forests’. More researchers are focusing
on canopy research but due to difficulties of access canopy research remains in its infancy in
Danum valley.

A new £2.5 million project has recently been funded by the British Natural Environment Research
Council to investigate the oxidant and particle photochemical processes above SE Asian tropical
rainforests. This project is a collaboration with the Malaysian Meterological Department,
University of Malaysia Sabah and Yayasan Sabah. It will involve 50 leading scientists from 12 UK
and Malaysian university and research institutions. It aims to investigate ho trace gas emissions
from the rainforest canopy may be influencing local, regional and global atmospheric composition,
chemistry and climate. This will be a very good project to complement the WFO project, once on-
stream.

3.2 Building Capacity for Canopy Research


Dr Henry Bernard, ITBC, University Malaysia Sabah

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Over the past 3 years UMS has been working with the GCP to build capacity for canopy research in
Malaysia. A total of 62 participants from 9 different countries, including Japan, Australia, UK,
Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, have been trained. Institutions
from Malaysia include, UMS, UNIMAS, UPM, Uitam, SOSRhino, Yayasan Sabah, Forest
Research Centre Sarawak, Sabah Wildlife Department, Sabah Parks and FRIM. Two participants
have been trained to instructor level and will continue to run the course as part of the Canopy
Science Course run at UMS.

The courses enable the participants to acquire the skills to safely work in forest canopies and learn
canopy research techniques. Modules include:
History of Canopy Science
Introduction to canopy biota
Patterns in canopy biodiversity
Processes in canopy biota
Dynamics and ecology of tree crowns
Climate and the canopy
Canopy Based ecosystem services
Canopy science techniques
Canopy microclimates

The course is assessed in 5 ways. A practical examination on canopy access methods carries 50%.
There is also a written examination on canopy access methods and a written examination on canopy
science and the students also have to carry out a small research project.

The Course is accompanied by two manuals, which have been developed jointly with the GCP and
UMS; BCAP training manual and the Canopy science training manual, both of which have been
translated into Bahasa Malayu.

To ensure the continuity of the programme it will be important to train more instructors at UMS,
link the course to other universities in the ASEAN region and gain additional funding for the costs
of invited lectures, student expenses and equipment which needs replacing.

3.3 Existing Canopy Atmospheric Research in Malaysia – a synopsis


Dr Lim Sze Fook, Director of Environmental Studies, Meterological Department,
Malaysia

Dr Lim Sze Fook gave delegates an overview on the work of the Malaysian Meteorological
department. With over 1000 staff its work is extensive in the fields of weather forecasting,
climatology, environment, cloud seeding research and radar technology. It has a network of 23 air
pollution monitoring stations, 3 Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) towers (1 urban 1976, Regional
1976 and Danum Valley 2004). The Danum station is one of the 23 baseline GAW stations in the
world, of which 2/3 are in the tropics.

The GAW Programme aims to understand the complex mechanisms with retrospect to natural and
anthropogenic atmosphere change. It aims to improve the understanding of the interactions
between the atmosphere, oceans and the biosphere and to provide reliable scientific evidence for
decision makers.

GAW towers collect a variety of information including, chemical and physical data. There are very
few CO2 monitoring stations along the equator.
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Future research programmes to use the GAW tower include surface ozone measurements in Danum,
aerosol optical depth measurements. There is a lot of potential for collaboration with canopy
research programmes and the GAW tower would be a good support facility.

Future research should include gaining a greater understanding of atmospheric hydrogen and its
effect on the atmosphere, which can be linked to the canopy.

3.5 DISCUSSION: Future needs in Malaysian canopy research. Meeting the policy needs of
the Malaysian Government

ITBC focuses on four research areas; 1) Biosystematics and biodiversity 2) Ecological processes
3) Advancement of biodiversity 4) Research. All of which can be linked to canopy research.
Delegates were asked to list the current gaps in Malaysian canopy research. An initial list was
compiled that will be circulated amongst research institutions in Malaysia for expansion.

Climate
What is the impact of Climate Change on canopy disease vectors?

Policy Relevance
What are the ecosystem services that forest canopies provide?
What is the economic value of these ecosystem services?
To what extent can canopy research contribute to forest management practices?
Is reduced impact logging maintaining the canopy effectively?
Are rehabilitation treatments sufficient in restoring forest ecosystem services/creating functional
forests?

Biodiversity
How is herbivory effecting VOC production?
To what extent can you ‘thin’ the canopy?
What is the impact of disturbance?

Health
Do insect vectors increase with disturbance?

3.6 DISCUSSION: The Role of Malaysia in the Global Network of Whole Forest
Observatories.

Malaysia has international obligations and protocols, which it must meet. These include reduction
of its CO2 emissions. Responsible forestry management and maintenance of its biodiversity. It
was agreed that it was necessary to agree a programme that helps the Government fulfil its
obligations under the United Nations Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol and the
Convention on Biological Diversity.

It was thought that a top down approach to secure funding would be necessary and that this could
be achieved if a coordinated, integrated and multidisciplinary research programme was developed.
It was agreed that ITBC should develop consortiums to be submitted to MoSTi for long term
research addressing major issues that could constitute as associated research.

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With the Whole Forest Observatory network the delegates saw Malaysia taking the following roles:
1) Research
2) Training for the ASEAN region
3) International Policy decisions
a. Forest Management considerations at an international level
4) Environmental Awareness programmes
a. Based on Forest Canopy Research

Malaysia has a long history of canopy research and so will be well placed to lead the way in the
ASEAN region.

It was agreed that an International Programme with an emphasis on regional basis would be
attractive to potential donors other than GEF.

4.0 Supporting Local Livelihoods through Sustainable Use of Forest Canopies

4.1 Current Human Use of forest canopies in Malaysia


Dr Rahim Nik, Forestry Senior Director, Forest Research Institute Malaysia, (FRIM)

Dr Rahim Nik gave an overview on the current use of forest canopies in Malaysia. Canopy
Walkways are the most common use of forest canopies and canopy walkways have been present in
Malaysia since 1986. There are also canopy observation platforms, which have been built for
birders. More recently zip lines have been developed for adventure tourism. All generate fairly
substantial revenues for the parks service, but due to its open access for all, costs have been kept
low and therefore they have not realised the income that may have been realised.

Other more traditional uses of forest canopies in Malaysia include honey collection, wild orchid
farming and farming of ornamental, medicinal plants and fruits. Over 1500 species of orchids can
be found in Malaysia and could be developed into a significant industry.

4.2 DISCUSSION: Agreeing the strategy to identify and replicate best practice models
for canopy horticulture.

A discussion followed on the existing extend and value of canopy horticulture in Malaysia, how it
can be valued and how can benefits be filtered to local communities. It was agreed that it is crucial
to get the engagement of the local community as well as all stakeholders. Participants were asked
to consider future developments in canopy horticulture in Malaysian and to discuss potential
demonstration projects that the WFO project could carry out.

Very little is known about the potential for canopy horticulture in Malaysia. As yet there has been
no inventory and the extent to which plants are taken from the forest to sell in markets is not yet
known. University Putra Malaysia is starting to work in this area with a commercial set up. It was
agreed that there is an urgent need to assess the extent of canopy horticulture and review the
facilities available within Malaysia to develop commercial enterprises.

Delegates agreed that for canopy horticulture to be success the project should concentrate on the
rare, high value and Malaysian endemics. They agreed that a new market could not compete with
the established plant markets of Thailand and so this approach would be necessary.
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Delegates noted that permits would be required if specimens for canopy horticulture development
were to be extracted for development.

Honey

Delegates also thought that development of Wild honey could be potential sustainable revenue for
local communities. In a forest reserve there are only about 20-30 trees with honey. At present this
is shared between a team that collect it. It is currently an important source of income for local
communities but is not a large source of revenue. A box of bees can be hired out for approximately
120 RM for 2 weeks. Some communities rent bees for the flowering season (in particular Dragon
fruits and Honey melons), which can increase yield by 15-20%. University Putra Malaysia are
assessing whether there is an actual increase in productivity. However there is a security issue.
When hiring out bees, bee keepers are weary about loosing the Queen bee. The delegates discussed
the potential for developing rainforest canopy honey and thought that it would be worth
investigating developing this as a potential canopy product. However, it was noted that there would
need to be research into Bee behaviour to understand why trees go back to the same tree each year.
Perhaps canopy science could improve pollination methods.

Other potential NTFP’s that could be investigated included: Butterfly farms, Ant nests (sold for
medicinal uses against diabetes) and various pharmaceutical properties.

4.4 New Opportunities for Canopy Ecotourism in Malaysia


Katherine Secoy, Research and Conservation Programme Manager, Global Canopy
Programme

Katherine Secoy gave an overview of a study that the GCP had commissioned on the status of
canopy ecotourism in Malaysia and potential for expansion, which was carried out by Markus
Seibel, GCP Research Associate.

There are currently 11 canopy access facilities both on Mainland Malaysian and Malaysian Borneo,
which are a draw for international tourism, which is well established in Malaysia. However the
study did note that there were significant opportunities for improving interpretation at each of the
facilities. Whilst the facilities employ members of the local community and they provide jobs
through the associated activities, there is a lot of scope for engaging with the local communities in a
more sustainable manner to show them that they too can benefit from the forest, through
ecotourism.

There is considerable potential for more canopy tourism in Malaysia. Developments ought to be
accompanied by a set of guidelines addressing sustainability in order to avoid an uncontrolled
growth of this tourism segment. Given that canopy tourism development is still in its infancy and
no such criteria exist yet, Malaysia could take on a pioneering role in the development of such
criteria. Cooperation between NGOs, GOs, academic institutions and canopy tourism projects
should ensure the feasibility and quality of measures and guidelines for sustainable canopy tourism.

4.5 Existing Canopy Ecotourism in Malaysia


Mr Makiarin Lakim, Sabah Parks

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Mr Makiarin Lakim gave an in depth view of the management of Poring Canopy Walkway near
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, which is managed by Sabah Parks Authority. He described the management
structure of Sabah Parks, describing the parks that fall within its remit. Kinablu National Park is
one of the 7 parks under its jurisdiction and was established in November 2000. Covering 75,370
ha (an area approximately the size of Singapore) it covers 3 districts and a variety of ecosystems.
455 villages border the park with a population of 15,850.

There has been a long history of canopy activities in the park, with balloon expeditions, the canopy
walkway and rope climbing expeditions. The walkway has been established since 1986 and its aim
was to utilise the forest as a value added ecotourism product. He described the walkway structure
and that it is jointly used for tourism (157.6m) and research (133m) and its highest point is 41m.

10 staff are employed for the day-to-day operation of the facility and its annual maintenance and
operational budget is 30,000RM. There is a strict maintenance protocol, which has paid off to date,
with there being no accident case since its establishment.

He described the visitor control and showed the growth in usage with large increases in both the
local and foreign visitor sectors. In 1994 around 5,000 foreign and 5,000 local individuals visited
the facility. This rose to around 40,000 local and 58,000. Annual revenues from the facility are just
short of 600,000RM per annum. This is putting significant pressures on the facility and Sabah
parks is needing to address this increase in demand. There is currently discussion on developing
further canopy walkway facilities in different habitats (riverine, mid-elevation forest and high
elevation forest), which will hopefully disperse the impact of the increased visitor numbers. There
are also plans to develop canopy walkway facilities Tawau Hills Park and Crocker Range Park.

There are no direct local benefits for the local communities, other than the direct employment of
staff working on the facility. However they are positively encouraged to develop their own
businesses such as selling souvenirs, fruit stalls, laundry, home stays and restaurants.

Sabah Parks have found that canopy ecotourism has proven to be a sustainable use of forest
resources and that they contribute to rural development. Poring canopy walkway is an example of
sustainable use of forests and is a success in forest conservation.

4.7 DISCUSSION: Agreeing a strategy to identify and replicate best practice models for
canopy ecotourism.

The study carried out by GCP Research Associate, Markus Seibel has provided a first pass on the
extent and value of canopy ecotourism in Malaysia. Delegates were asked to consider how benefits
could be delivered to local communities and how the local communities could be more engaged in
canopy ecotourism activities. The delegates discussed the future of canopy ecotourism in Malaysia
and were agreed that it is already fairly established and there are already significant plans to
establish new canopy ecotourism facilities.

When considering the role of the Whole Forest Observatory Project in the development of Canopy
ecotourism it was agreed that data coming from the project could be used in a unique way to
interpret canopy biology and bring the forest canopy to life. This is especially needed at new and
even the existing facilities, which at present lack engaging interpretation materials.

5.0 Developing Strategies for the Future

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5.1 Valuation of forest canopy ecosystem services
Prof. Dr. Mohd Shahwahid Hj. Othman, University Putra Malaysia (UPM)

Professor Mohamed Shahwahid presented on how to place a value on the ecosystem services that
forests provide. He described the reasoning behind placing economic values on the services,
determining what those values are based on the five economic valuation approaches:
Market price-based
Surrogate market-based
Hypothetical market-based
Cost-based
Benefits transfer

The challenges that lie before anyone trying to value forest canopy ecosystem services are:
o Values differ depending on the stakeholder.
o How do we communicate that local communities must act as stewards of forest
canopy ecosystem resources?
o How do we initiate policy changes and governance reforms that facilitate
optimization of benefits and participation of local communities in conservation and
management of biodiversity?

Because of the inaccessibility of forest canopy biodiversity to scientists, tourists and local
communities, the valuation of forest canopy biodiversity and its ecosystem services is limited in
relation to climate change and the provision of benefits to local livelihoods. This has weakened
arguments in favour of the sustainable use of forest canopy biodiversity. We need a greater
interaction between scientist and economists to address these problems. It is important that the
benefits are shared accordingly.

5.2 Evaluating and Trading Canopy Ecosystem Services


Andrew Mitchell, Executive Director, Global Canopy Programme

Andrew Mitchell introduced the delegates to the concept of trading the ecosystem services forests
provide using financial markets. This concept is based on unrealised values of services that forests
provide but to date, countries have not been able to benefit from. Much in the same way as the
carbon markets, the trading in ecosystem services will financially reward countries, which keep
their forests stocks. Due to the amounts of forest in question and the huge value of the services to
the global community these markets will be able to out compete traditional land uses such as cattle
farming, oil palm plantations and Soya farming.

Andrew Mitchell proposed that the WFO project would provide the underpinning science case to
support this concept and that the proposal should be amended to reflect this.

5.3 Peatland degradation and climate change – A case study.


Mr Rashid Abdul Samad, National Expert Sabah, United Nations Development
Programme

Mr Rashid Samad presented on the UNDP’s work in Sabah on Peatland degradation. Of the
original 60,500 has of peat deposits, 50% has been classified as forest reserves and 90% is
converted to agriculture, which is resulting in significant habitat fragmentation. Of the existing peat
16
forest reserves it is now becoming vital to regulate and monitor developments to ensure
hydrological balance and habitat viability of the reserves. UNDP is working in Klias conservation
area to demonstrate a multi-sectoral approach to integrated development planning over an extensive
populated area.

The main threats and challenges include, fire for agriculture conversion, drainage, poaching and
habitat loss, from the local communities.

UNDP are working with the local communities to raise awareness of the importance of peat forests
and are carrying out a canal blocking trial to re-flood and rehabilitate the peat forests. They are
then working with the local community to develop alternative livelihoods such as fish farming.

5.4 DISCUSSION:
1) Agreeing a strategy for estimating the Value of canopy ecosystem services to identify the
links between the economic value of canopy biodiversity and ecosystem services and
benefits to people

Delegates discussed current work regarding environmental valuations and the need for future
valuations to support the case for payments for forest ecosystem services. It was noted that not
much work had been done in this area, but that economic valuations would be a very important
prerequisite for the development for payments for ecosystem services. It was also agreed that

There is an Economy and Environment Programme in SE Asian, which is based in Singapore,


which provides funding for the region for small proposals, in the region of USD 80,000. They
invite keynote speakers to their meeting and it was suggested that Andrew Mitchell, should present
a paper about the concept of payments for forest ecosystem services. They also sponsor key
economists and so it was suggested that this could be a source of co financing for the WFO project.

The ASEAN centre for Biodiversity is also looking for projects and may be interested in a proposal
on the concept of Payments for Ecosystem services. Other potential sources of co financing that
were identified were Diversitas, Malaysian Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of
Higher Education and the Economic Planning Unit of Malaysia.

2) Creating a Strategy for Applying Compensated Reduction and Payments for


Ecosystem services to Malaysian forest conservation policies.

There are several companies in Malaysia including YTL, is keen on reducing carbon emissions in
Malaysia. The Malaysian Ministry is taking the lead in this area and Dr Nadzri is writing up the
national communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. There
are many agencies in Malaysia who are trying to obtain GEF funding for energy reduction projects
that are eligible under the Clean Development Mechanism. FELDA is also working to get carbon
credits for increasing efficiency of palm oil production.

It was agreed that it was important to get policy and decision makers involved and that it might be
beneficial to hold an information workshop and the scientists should be brought to the policy
makers.

6.0 Concluding Remarks

17
Datuk Dr Selleh Mohamed Nor thanked all of the delegates for their participation in the workshop
and those organisations that generously funded the workshop including the UK Foreign and
Commonwealth Office Global Opportunities Fund and the University of Malaysia Sabah. He also
stressed that it was extremely important for Malaysia to participate in the global network and that
the project would assist the Malaysian Government meet its commitments under the UN
Convention of Biological Diversity and Framework Convention on Climate Change. He saw a lot
of complementarity between the work on the GAW tower and the proposed WFO and that delegates
should investigate potential collaborations between the two.

As there is a long history of canopy activities in Malaysia, Datuk Nor pointed out that the
Malaysian partners are in a position to take a lead in the Whole Forest Observatory project.

18
Appendix I – Workshop Delegates
# Participants/Speakers Address
1. Mr. Andrew Mitchell Global Canopy Programme
John Krebs Field Station
University of Oxford
Wytham
Oxford OX2 8QJ
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 1865 724 222
Fax: +44(0) 1865 724 555
2. Ms. Katherine Secoy Global Canopy Programme
John Krebs Field Station
University of Oxford
Wytham
Oxford OX2 8QJ
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 1865 724 222
Fax: +44(0) 1865 724 555
3. Dr. Glen Reynolds Programme Manager & Senior
Scientist
The Royal Society SEARRP
Danum Valley Field Centre

Contacts:
Tel (Field Centre): +60 (0)88 709101
Tel (H/P Malaysia): +60 (0)19
8073974
Tel (H/P UK & Intl.): +44 (0)7811
398844
Fax (Sabah): +60 (0)89 883091
4. Tom Fayle, Department of Zoology, University of
Cambridge, UK
5. Dr. Rahim Nik Senior Director (Forestry),Forest Research
Institute Malaysia (FRIM)
6. Mr. Rashid Abdul Saman NE Sabah (UNDP/GEF Funded
Project)
Klias Pear Swamp Forests
Conservation Project
Tel: 088-912449 / 915759
7. Prof. Dr. Mohd. Shahwahid Timbalan Pengarah
Institut Perhutanan Tropika dan Produk
Hutan
Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400 UPM Serdang
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.
Tel: 03-8947 2179 (Zira)
Fax: 03-8947 2180
8. Dr. Stephen Sutton Dr. Stephen Sutton (c/o ITBC)
Honorary Overseas Consultant
Borneo Books 2,
A 235-237 (F)
2nd Floor, Phase I
Wisma Merdeka
88845 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
9. Mr. Lim Sze Fook Meteorological Department (Sabah)
Jabatan Kaji Cuaca
19
# Participants/Speakers Address
Cawangan Sabah
7th Floor, Wisma Dang Bandang
88000 Kota Kinabalu
SABAH
Tel: 03-79678067
Fax: 03-79578046
10. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mohd. Ainuddin Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest
Nuruddin Product,
Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400 UPM
Serdang, Selangor
Tel: 03-89467205
Fax: 03-89432514
11. Prof. Dr. David Bignell Visiting Professor
ITBC, UMS
12. Prof. Dr. Zaidi Md. Isa School of Environmental Sciences
Faculty Science & Technology
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
43600 Bangi
Selangor
Tel: 03-89215983/73
Fax: 03-89253357
13. Prof. Dr. Idris Abd. Ghani Head Biology Programme
School of Environmental Sciences
Faculty Science & Technology
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
43600 Bangi
Selangor
Tel: 03-89215983/73
Fax: 03-89253357
14. Prof. Datuk Dr. Noramly Muslim Visiting Professor
ITBC, UMS
15. Mr. Maklarin Lakim Sabah Parks

16. Dr. Waidi Sinun Section Head


Sabah Foundation (YS)
P. O. Box 11623
88817 Kota Kinabalu
Sabah
Tel: 088-326314
Fax: 088-326216
17. Mr. Jimmy Omar Manager
Danum Valley Field Centre
Sabah Foundation (YS)
P. O. Box 11623
88817 Kota Kinabalu
Sabah
Tel: 088-326314
Fax: 088-326216
18. Dr. Yap Sau Wai Forestry Officer
Sabah Foundation (YS)
P. O. Box 11623
88817 Kota Kinabalu
Sabah
Tel: 088-326314
20
# Participants/Speakers Address
Fax: 088-326216
19. Andrew Hearn Bornean Wild cats and Clouded
Leopard Project
GCP Research Associate
20. Joanna Ross Bornean Wild cats and Clouded
Leopard Project
GCP Research Associate
21. Mr. Jadda Suhaimi Sabah Foundation (YS)
P. O. Box 11623
88817 Kota Kinabalu
Sabah
Tel: 088-326314
Fax: 088-326216
22. Prof. Datin Dr. Maryati Mohamed ITBC, UMS
23. Dr. Henry Bernard ITBC, UMS
24. Dr. Idris M. Said ITBC, UMS
25. Ms. Azniza Mahyudin ITBC, UMS
26. Mr. Ahmad Sudin ITBC, UMS
27. Ms. Kalsum Md. Yusah ITBC, UMS
28. Mr. Lai ITBC, UMS
29. Mr. Daniel Pamin Bornean Wild Cat and Clouded
Leopard Project - Darwin Initiative

Global Canopy Programme, UK and


Institute for Tropical Biology &
Conservation
Universiti Malaysia Sabah
30. Ms. Jovinia Jowinis ITBC, UMS
31. Ms. Nurzhafarina Othman ITBC, UMS
32. Mr. Azrie Alliamat ITBC, UMS
33. Mr. Alvin Azril Mahat ITBC, UMS
34. Ms. Suzen Immit ITBC, UMS
35. Ms. Alessandra ITBC, UMS
36. Ms. Kim Asbiyallah ITBC, UMS
37. Ms. Fiffy Hanisdah Saikim ITBC, UMS
38. Ms. Hamilda ITBC, UMS
39. Mr. Maximus ITBC, UMS
40. Ms. Jacqueline ITBC, UMS
41. Ms. Juliana ITBC, UMS
42. Mr. Mustafa ITBC, UMS
43. Mr. Azman Sulaiman ITBC, UMS
44. Mr. Kan Yaw Chong Daily Express, Sabah

21
APPENDIX II
Malaysian National Workshop on Forest Canopy Research and Sustainable use of Forest
Canopy Biodiversity
5th -7th March 2007
Location – Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ITBC), UMS,
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, MALAYSIA

Sunday 4th March Delegates Arrive in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah


1900 Welcome Dinner

Monday 5th March


The aim of this day is to bring all participants up to date with the Whole Forest Observatory Project, redefine
the National Committees and discuss the future needs of Malaysian canopy research.

0800 Registration/Refreshments
0830 Opening Speeches
Vice Chancellor of UMS
0850 Welcome, Introduction and aims of the workshop
Prof. Datin Dr. Maryati Mohamed, Director of ITBC, UMS

0900 Group Photo

Malaysia and the UNEP/Whole Forest Observatory Project


Chair: Dr. Rahim Nik, Senior Director (Forestry),Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM)
0915 Whole Forest Observatories (WFO): An International Network for Monitoring Canopy
Biodiversity and Global Climate Change. Introduction and Update
Mr. Andrew Mitchell, Executive Director, Global Canopy Programme
0945 Strategic Importance of the WFO Project to Malaysia
Prof. Datin Dr. Maryati Mohamed
1015 Progress in Malaysia on the WFO Project
Dr. Henry Bernard, Deputy Director of ITBC, UMS.
1045 Discussion – • Redefining the Malaysian WFO Steering and Technical Committees
• Determining stakeholders to be involved in each aspect of the WFO project

1115 Break
What is the status of canopy science in Malaysia today?
Chair: Prof. Dr. Ridzwan Abd. Rahman, Director of Center of Research and Innovation, UMS
1130 Canopy Research in Danum Valley, Sabah – A Synopsis
Dr. Glen Reynolds, Global Canopy Project
1200 The Ant Community of a Common Raid Forest Epiphyte
Tom Fayle, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK
1230 Building Capacity for Canopy Science - Training and Education
Dr. Henry Bernard
1300 Lunch
1400 Existing Canopy Atmospheric Research in Malaysia - A Synopsis
Mr. Lim Sze Fook, Director of Environmental Studies, Meteorological Department Malaysia
1430 DISCUSSION: Future needs in Malaysian canopy research. Meeting the policy needs of the
Malaysian Government
1530 Tea Break
1600 DISCUSSION: The Role of Malaysia in the Global Network of Whole Forest Observatories.
1700 End
22
Tuesday 6th March
Supporting Local Livelihoods through Sustainable Use of Forest Canopies
Chair: Prof. Dr. David Bignell, Visiting Professor, ITBC, UMS
Today’s programme will look in more depth at canopy ecotourism and canopy horticulture in Malaysia as
potential examples for the provision of alternative income from forest canopies, to local communities. By the
end of the day participants will have agreed the various strategies to take forward during the design phase of
the Whole Forest Observatory Project.

0900 Current Human Use of Forest Canopies in Malaysia


Dr. Rahim Nik, Forestry Senior Director, Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM)

0930 DISCUSSION: Agreeing the strategy to identify and replicate best practice models for canopy
horticulture.
• What is the existing extent and value of canopy horticulture in Malaysia?
• How can this be valued – benefits to local livelihoods?
• Engaging the local community and stakeholders
• What is the potential for future canopy horticulture in Malaysia
• How can we realise potential through demonstration of best practise?

1100 Tea Break

Chair: Prof. Dr. Shahwahid Othman, Deputy Director, Institute of Tropical Forest and Forest Product,
Universiti Putra Malaysia
1130 New Opportunities for Canopy Ecotourism in Malaysia
Ms. Katherine Secoy, Research and Conservation Programme Manager, Global Canopy
Programme

1200 Existing Canopy Ecotourism in Malaysia


Mr. Maklarin Lakim, Head of Zoology Section, Kinabalu Parks, Sabah Parks

1300 Lunch

1400 DISCUSSION: Agreeing a strategy to identify and replicate best practice models for canopy
ecotourism.
• What is the existing extent and value of canopy ecotourism in Malaysia?
• How can this be valued – benefits to local livelihoods?
• Engaging the local community and stakeholders
• What is the potential for future canopy ecotourism in Malaysia?
• How can we realise potential through demonstration of best practise (small pilots in wlkways, towers
or zip lines)?

1500 Tea Break

Chair: Mr. Andrew Mitchell, Executive Director Global Canopy Programme


1530 DISCUSSION: Defining the WFO Design Phase work programme

1700 End

1900 Farewell Dinner

23
Wednesday 7th March
Developing Strategies for the Future
Chair: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ainuddin Nuruddin, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)

0800 Valuation of Forest Canopy Ecosystem Services


Prof. Dr. Mohd Shahwahid Hj. Othman, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).

0830 Evaluating and Trading Canopy Ecosystem Services


Mr. Andrew Mitchell, Executive Director, Global Canopy Programme

0930 Peatland Degradation and Climate Change – A Case Study


Mr. Rashid Abdul Samad, National Expert Sabah, Conservation and Use of Tropical Peat Swamp
Forests and Associated Wetland Ecosystems, UNDP/GEF Funded Project

1000 DISCUSSION:
1) Agreeing a strategy for estimating the Value of canopy Ecosystem services to identify the
links between the economic value of canopy biodiversity and ecosystem services and benefits to
people

2) Creating a Strategy for Applying Compensated Reduction and Payments for Ecosystem
services to Malaysian forest conservation policies.

1100 Conclusions from the workshop

1130 End

24
Appendix III – News cuttings from Workshop

25