A symposium based on evaluating ecosystem benefits within the Central Forest Spine (CFS) Ecological Corridors took place at the Tamu Hotel & Suites in Kuala Lumpur on December 5, 2023. This meeting focused on utilising the Toolkit for Ecosystem Services Site-Based Assessment (TESSA) to investigate and present discoveries regarding four key ecosystem services across eight states in the CFS landscape. These services encompassed global climate regulation (measured by estimating above-ground carbon stocks), nature-based recreation or tourism, water-related services, and cultural services.
Over 110 participants attended, representing various stakeholders, including governmental bodies such as the Department of Wildlife Protection and National Parks (PERHILITAN), Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), Department of Environment (DOE), Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID), Department of Mineral and Geoscience Malaysia, PLANMalaysia, Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change (NRECC), and others actively involved in CFS matters.
The symposium commenced with an opening address by YBhg. Dato’ Mohd Rahim bin Rani, Deputy Director-General of Forestry Peninsular Malaysia (Operations and Technical). The project funder, Yayasan Hasanah was represented by its Senior Manager, YBrs. Puan Shreevidya Anandan and SEARRP was represented by Dato’ Henry Barlow, a member of the UK Board of Trustees. Following the formalities, each of the eight TESSA teams showcased their assessment methods and findings through a poster exhibition. The presentations were divided into three sessions, each with a video presentation showing the assessment of water-based services, nature-based recreation services, and climate regulation services.
The insights gained from TESSA assessments are expected to serve as a valuable resource for conservation and environmental management within the CFS area, which represents a crucial starting point for key stakeholders to further explore the potential of ecosystem services provided by the CFS ecological corridors, potentially guiding future endeavors in this critical area.