Implementation of the Convention
Measures Taken to Achieve the 2010 Target
Malaysia has already fulfilled the 2010 target requirement of conserving 10% of national biodiversity. In building our national inventory of flora and fauna, 9 expeditions were carried out under the Eighth Malaysia Plan (2001-2005) which will be further increased to 15 under the Ninth Plan (2006-1010). Endangered species are continually protected through research, captive breeding, in-situ conservation and awareness programs. To improve the protection of biodiversity, a review of the present law that governs trading and captive breeding of wildlife will be undertaken. Biodiversity will continue to be the mainstreamed and appropriate safeguards will be developed and introduced.
Strengthening institutional framework: To address legal and institutional gaps in the management of natural resources, a National Council on Biodiversity and Biotechnology, under the stewardship of the Prime Minister, was established in 2001 comprising relevant federal ministers and chief ministers of all states. It aims to give policy directions on the mainstreaming of biodiversity and the development of biotechnology. In 2004, Malaysia strengthened its institutional setup for the management of conservation at the federal level when the restructuring of the ministries led to the formation of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
Initiatives in Protected Areas
Malaysia attaches great importance to establishing protected areas for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. At least 7 out of the 87 actions listed in the NPB are related to protected areas. In recent years, there has been a positive response to declare state lands as national protected areas, resulting in an increase in the number of National Parks. Despite progress in the establishment of protected areas, there are still habitats that are under-represented, such as limestone hills and coastal dipterocarp forests. In terms of immediate measures to rehabilitate the degraded mangroves areas in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, the Ninth Malaysia Plan (2006-2010) has allocated RM40 million for National Mangroves Replanting Programmes. However, financial resources are insufficient to meet the requirements for the conservation of the total biodiversity of the country.
Initiatives in Access and Benefit Sharing
Malaysia is in the process of formulating federal legislation on access and benefit-sharing. Presently, the guidelines developed by the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department require that an agreement be signed between the bioprospector and the collaborating Malaysian agency. The states of Sabah and Sarawak already have legal instruments in place, namely, Sabah Biodiversity Enactment 2000 and Sarawak Biodiversity Centre Ordinance 1997. Malaysia has also formulated the Protection of New Plant Variety Act 2004.
Initiatives for Article 8(j)
Documentation of the status and trends of traditional knowledge and practices for biodiversity conservation is an ongoing activity for the establishment of an inventory of traditional knowledge on the use of species and genetic diversity, and related to implementation of the National Policy on Biodiversity.